The fuel cell is expected to power 7 percent of total power consumption at the Sunnyvale offices, including 15 percent of the power for its data center, and 50 percent of the power required to run the office’s computers, said Tetsuo Urano, head of American operations with Fujitsu America. The fuel cell does use natural gas to produce the hydrogen that gets turned into electricity, though according to a company fact sheet, it produces 35 percent less CO2 per megawatt-hour than the average fossil fuel-based power plant.
Rebates from PG&E, the local utility company, could make it possible for the company to save enough money on its energy bill to payback the device in as little as four years, Kohji Matsumoto, Fujitsu manager of general affairs, told us. He said that’s mostly because Fujitsu received a roughly half-price discount on the $1.2 million device.
We also talked to PG&E director David Rubin, who said that his utility company provided a $500,000 financial incentive for the project through it’s ‘Self-Generation Incentive Program’. If the company had decided to go with a renewable fuels-powered fuel cell, the financial incentive would have added up to almost double, at $20k more per kilowatt-hour.
Following a series of speeches by corporate and political representatives including Hideru Yamaguchi, Fujitsu’s president of corporate environmental affairs and Makoto Yamanaka, Consul General of Japan, a group of about 15 Fujitsu employees showed off their “hands on” commitment to the environment by decorating the exterior of the fuel cell with their hand prints in various shades of green — check out the photo.