Douglas Pud

Douglas PUD Turns to Renewable Hydrogen for Backup Power

July 19, 2021
GenCell G5 hydrogen-fueled backup power solution to provide a failsafe, green, long-duration, weather-resistant auxiliary power supply.

GenCell Energy, an Israel-based manufacturer of fuel cell energy solutions, recently announced that Douglas County Public Utility District (PUD), located in East Wenatchee, Washington, will deploy the GenCell G5 hydrogen-fueled alkaline fuel cell, a resilient, zero-emission backup power solution. The G5 will run on renewable hydrogen produced by the PUD’s own hydrogen production facility to provide a failsafe, green, long-duration, and weather-resistant auxiliary power supply.

Douglas PUD elected to use its excess electricity to make and sell renewable hydrogen gas, which can be used for consumer and industrial purposes, including the operation of the GenCell backup power solution. To this end, the utility initiated construction of a renewable hydrogen production facility and a new substation. The PUD looked for a proven and highly resilient backup solution for the substation that could supply utility-scale fuel cell functionality and comply with all the strictest IEC, ISO, IEEE, and OSHA safety and quality certifications for utilities. After considering other solutions, Douglas PUD determined that GenCell was able to meet all of its specifications and its G5 will run on the hydrogen fuel produced by the new facility. The PUD will also deploy the GenCell IoT Remote Manager software to monitor the mission-critical equipment, readying the system for an emergency and optimizing its performance.

"As the state looks toward low- and zero-emission technologies, our customer-owners want their local PUD to be prepared for the future," said Gary Ivory, general manager, Douglas PUD. "Part of that preparation includes the ultra-reliable, weather-resistant GenCell G5 electrochemical generator that leverages alkaline fuel cell technology to run on our renewable hydrogen for substation backup power."

"We are extremely excited to be a part of this landmark project and to work with Douglas PUD to scale up the U.S. hydrogen economy," said Rami Reshef, CEO, GenCell Energy. "Climate conditions are causing utilities across the United States to invest in hardening the grid and in many cases, this involves using backup diesel standby generators, which are expensive and environmentally unfriendly. We are very proud to supply Douglas PUD with a failsafe hydrogen backup power solution that is fully aligned with its sustainability goals and will enable it to consume the renewable hydrogen produced on-site at the lowest possible emissions, highest reliability, and maximum energy and cost efficiency."

To see a video about the Douglas PUD renewable hydrogen production facility pilot project, visit here.

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