FuelCell Energy Closes Tax Equity Sale-Leaseback Financing for the 1.4 MW San Bernardino Fuel Cell Project with Crestmark

  • Aug 31, 2021
  • Fuelcell Energy

DANBURY, Conn., Aug. 31, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL) -- a global leader in fuel cell technology with a purpose of utilizing its proprietary, state-of-the-art fuel cell platforms to enable a world empowered by clean energy—today announced that the Company closed on a tax equity sale-leaseback financing transaction for the 1.4 megawatt SureSource 1500™ biofuels fuel cell project with the City of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department (SBMWD) in California with Crestmark Equipment Finance (“Crestmark”), a division of MetaBank®. Crestmark’s commitment totals $10.2 million through a ten-year sale-leaseback structure and further demonstrates the market’s interest in FuelCell Energy’s differentiated ability to use on-site biofuels, to eliminate flaring and deliver carbon neutral decarbonization energy platforms.

“We are excited to team up again with Crestmark and add this important financing solution that enables us to recycle capital for additional clean energy and decarbonization projects and initiatives,” said Michael Bishop, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of FuelCell Energy. “This is our second sale-leaseback financing transaction executed with Crestmark and we are pleased to expand our relationship with their organization. Crestmark has a deep understanding of the quality solutions delivered by our products, including carbon neutral projects directly leveraging on-site biofuels.”

“Crestmark is pleased to support FuelCell Energy and their management team in the deployment of such an important critical-use application,” commented Jon Ellis, Vice President of Alternative Energy Finance at Crestmark. “Crestmark is focused on the alternative energy market and has designed targeted funding solutions for the industry. This project, and the scalable and renewable power solution FuelCell Energy delivered, are a solid fit with our efforts in this industry.”

Key project highlights include:

The SureSource 1500™ platform is co-located with the SBMWD water reclamation plant and operates on the City’s anaerobic digester gas, which is treated by FuelCell Energy’s proprietary SureSource TreatmentTM system, cleanly producing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week carbon neutral renewable electricity. The San Bernardino Fuel Cell Project has contracted to sell the clean electricity from the facility to SBMWD under a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement.

The SureSource TreatmentTM system developed with FuelCell Energy’s extensive experience with on-site biogas treatment enables the on-site cleaning of biofuel and use of it without injection into the common carrier gas pipeline. Gas treatment requirements are reduced compared to pipeline injection because of the ability of SureSource fuel cell systems to utilize low-Btu biogas reducing cost and creating more value for the generator of the biofuels. Additionally costly pipelines to interconnect to common carrier gas pipelines is eliminated.

Beyond the obvious benefit of producing carbon neutral electricity, the SureSource 1500™ platform uses biogas produced on-site as a waste product of water treatment that would otherwise be vented or flared. This approach prevents energy waste and the production of harmful local GHG emissions thus improving air quality. The platform converts the biogas to hydrogen to produce clean, renewable, power, as well as thermal energy to support more efficient operation and conversion of wastewater gas to biofuels at the SBMWD.

Servicing a population of approximately 200,000 residents, the SBMWD delivers more than 15.5 billion gallons of water per year and provides wastewater collection and treatment at the water reclamation plant. The use of waste gas to produce clean, carbon neutral renewable power and heat on-site enhances the sustainability of the facility by avoiding scope 1 and 2 emissions and reducing grid power consumption.