Bloom Energy replacing fuel cells at site south of Newark in $100 M to $150M project


Bloom Energy  is seeking a permit to replace fuel cells in Delaware.

A filing with the  Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control   was posted in connection with a  replacement of the fuel cells.

The web and newsletter site Axios reported the filing and an estimated cost of $100 million to $150 million for the new “Bloom boxes.” in the Brookside area. (See tweet below). The story  took aim at Bloom for not disclosing the cost to shareholders. 


David McCulloch, vice president, communications for Bloom, said the project is  routine. 

“Replacing systems is very much business-as-usual for Bloom. Our business model assumes that we will replace systems as part of maintenance upgrades. There’s nothing new here.

Bloom had earlier stated that “we’re very confident that there will be no material adverse cost to the company from the upgrade.”

McCulloch confirmed  the company  “applied for a permit to replace the Bloom Energy Servers that make up the local fuel cell project with maintenance upgrades to Bloom’s most recent generation of the Energy Server.”

McCulloch added that the “replacement fuel cells will use the same technology to deliver the same output as before, only the replacement cells are more efficient and will reduce the amount of natural gas required. Higher efficiency also brings environmental benefits. Subject to the permit being granted, we will replace the systems over the course of the next two years.”

Over the years, the company has also reported improvements in the efficiency of the cells.

The fuel cells s feed power into the grid from the site as part of an agreement with the state that has Delmarva Power customers paying a surcharge for the added costs of producing electricity from the servers.

In return, Bloom built a plant at the University of Delaware STAR Campus in Newark  that assembles the fuel cells

The surcharge, which can run $4 or more a month, is part of the state’s mandate to get a quarter of its electricity from alternative sources by 2025. The Bloom fuel cells are powered by natural gas.

The northern California company is pushing for the use of renewable sources such as landfill gas in powering the fuel cells.

In Delaware, landfill gas is being used to produce electricity at Calpine’s Edgemoor power plant and at a site near the Sandtown Landfill in Kent County.