EcoMotion Conducted an Energy Strategy Validation Study to Analyze Glendale Community College District’s Proposed Fuel Cell Strategy

In June and July of 2020, EcoMotion conducted an Energy Strategy Validation Study to analyze the fuel cell energy strategy being proposed by the Glendale Community College District (GCCD) Facilities Department. The independent assessment digs into GCCD’s current energy profile and its future power options.

The report focuses on the fuel cell option that has been presented to the college by Bloom Energy. The study begins with a brief look at baseline conditions on campus, and factors that will influence consumption in the planning horizon. The study then studies powering the future, a review of on-site power options, off-site power options, as well as carbon offset opportunities should they be of interest to the College, perhaps paired with a fossil-based resource. Two plausible generation sources surface from this broad review: photovoltaic solar and fuel cells. The Validation Study then shifts to a look at the economics of solar and fuel cells on campus. Both are attractive, but fuel cells provide nearly five times the power since they operate continuously (24/7).

Based on a set of reasonable assumptions, fuel cells will likely provide $10.3 million in savings over 25 years. Thanks to the low market prices for solar and net energy metering, solar can provide $5 million in net benefits to GCCD for the same 1 MW of capacity. EcoMotion concludes the Fuel Cell Validation Study with a recommendation: For GCCD, it could be very cost effective to install and operate both fuel cells and solar.