AT&T boost fuel cell order from Bloom Energy

AT&T boost fuel cell order from Bloom Energy

October 4, 2012 0 By Angie Bergenson

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Hydrogen fuel cell Bloom boxes

AT&T looks to get more electricity from fuel cells provided by Bloom Energy

Telecommunications giant AT&T has been working to make more use of clean energy recently. The company has been turning to clean energy as a way to power its extensive network of data centers, as well as its wireless networks that provide service throughout the U.S. Hydrogen fuel cells have, thus far, been the most popular form of energy for the company. Last year, AT&T signed a contract with Bloom Energy, a leading developer of fuel cells, to source much of its energy from these systems. Now, the company is looking to double the number of fuel cells it is receiving from Bloom Energy.

Fuel cells ideally suited for company’s data centers

In 2011, AT&T received some 7.5 megawatts worth of fuel cell energy systems from Bloom Energy. These fuel cells are being used to power some of AT&T’s most important data centers. John Schinter, director of energy for AT&T, notes that these data centers operate at all hours of the day and that Bloom Energy’s fuel cells have been a perfect fit for these facilities. AT&T is looking to boost its fuel cell capacity to more than 17 megawatts.

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Clean Energy Quotes To Remember - “For example, a breakthrough in better batteries could supplant hydrogen. Better solar cells could replace or win out in this race to the fuel of the future. Those, I see, as the three big competitors: hydrogen, solar cells and then better batteries.”

- Bob Inglis, Politician

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Bloom Boxes provide reliable and affordable energy

The fuel cells being used by AT&T are solid oxide fuel cells called Bloom Boxes. These fuel cells are designed specifically with industrial purposes in mind. Stationary fuel cells, such as solid oxide fuel cells, are subject to praise wherever they are used because of their reliability and capability of producing large amounts of electricity. AT&T, as well as other companies, have been convinced by the performance of these fuel cells and have begun adopting them aggressively.

AT&T acquires energy through Bloom Electrons model

AT&T will be taking advantage of one of Bloom Energy’s service models. This model is called Bloom Electrons and is similar to solar leasing programs that boost the availability of solar energy systems. Through this model, consumers can pay for the electricity that is produced through the fuel cells without having to purchase the energy systems themselves, which are notorious for their expensive nature. Per the agreement made through this model, Bloom Energy retains ownership of the equipment and plays the role of a utility company.