US fuel cell start-up ClearEdge Power in US$500m deal with Austrian firm

10 Jan 2012

Güssing Renewable Energy's Hofbauer Reactor. The reactor converts organic mass into high-purity biogas that can be used to generate electric power and heat in fuel cell systems, like those from ClearEdge Power

In what is being termed as one of the largest ever deals in the stationary fuel cell industry, Oregon-based start-up ClearEdge Power has just signed a US$500m agreement to provide 50 megawatts (MW) of clean energy generation from fuel cells to Güssing Renewable Energy GmbH in Austria.

The deal has just been announced today.
Güssing Renewable Energy is aiming to produce 50MW of energy generation from fuel cells in the Republic of Austria by 2020, so in the first phase of the US$500m agreement, ClearEdge Power will aim to deliver 8.5MW of clean energy over the next 36 months.

Speaking today, ClearEdge Power president and CEO, Russell Ford said the deal was a “significant milestone” for both the company and the stationary fuel cell market.

He spoke about the role that scalable, continuous onsite power systems can play in achieving environmental sustainability.

Güssing Renewable Energy itself is headquartered in Güssing, a town that has become renowned for being the first community in the European Union to produce 100pc of its energy from renewable resources. Not so long ago Güssing was known as one of the poorest areas in Austria, which relied heavily on agriculture. In the early Nineties a policy was proposed which called for a complete abandonment of fossil-fuel-based energy.

Güssing Renewable Energy offers what it calls carbon-neutral solutions, including anaerobic technology that converts organic mass into biogas that can be used to heat in fuel cells.

Under the agreement with ClearEdge Power, Güssing Renewable Energy has agreed to sell, install and service ClearEdge systems in Austria and the company is also planning to gain a foothold in other western European markets.

Güssing Renewable Energy also participated in the recent ClearEdge Power Series E US$73.5m financing round. The company has also recently secured a DOE grant to support the adoption of fuel cell technologies in different vertical markets.


Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic