Enron to Push Fuel Cell Energy Products
LCG, Oct. 3, 2000Fuel Cell Energy Inc. said yesterday it has reached an agreement with Enron North America for the two companies to work together to develop and market Fuel Cell's products. The fuel cell maker said the focus would be on "state renewable and energy conservation programs," perhaps indicating an expectation of public funding.That would not be a first for Fuel Cell. Ten years ago, the company secured a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy for research and development. The Enron connection, as well as a similar alliance with PPL Inc. announced September 21, would be to get the fuel cells sold, installed and running.Susan Odiseos, director of corporate communications, said "We've got this great concept, we've got $200 million from the Department of Energy, but we're still not selling them." That's where Enron and PPL enter the picture, with their commercial experience."Our business plans calls for alliances," Odiseos said. "We've got the know-how, now we need the distribution."Jerry Leitman, Fuel Cell's chief executive, confirmed the pursuit of state funding. "Targeting state-sponsored renewable programs and energy conservation opportunities will accelerate the commercialization of our Direct Fuel Cell products in these 'early adopter' markets," he said in a news release.As part of the Enron arrangement, Enron has invested $5 million in the common stock of Fuel CellEnergy. Fuel Cell Energy said it will issue warrants enabling Enron to purchase up to 1.3 million shares of Fuel Cell Energy common stock once Enron peddles 55 megawatts worth of fuel cells.
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