Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc., the world’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola products, is turning to clean energy technolgoies to reduce the power use and environmental impact of its production plant in Elmsford.
The company plans to install two fuel cell systems at the plant to produce enough power and heat to meet 30 percent of the site’s needs. The fuel cells also will serve as a backup electricity source during power outages.
Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical process to produce electricity, heat and water. Since they don’t produce the emissions of traditional power plants, some scientists maintain that the fuel cell technology has the potential the potential to reduce petroleum use and decrease greenhouse gas emissions suspected of contributing to global warming.
“The fuel cell systems at our Elmsford facility will help us further our environmental commitment to our local communities, reducing our carbon footprint and our use of the local power grid,” said Ron Lewis, vice president of supply chain for Coca-Cola Enterprises.
Coca-Cola Enterprises said the fuel-cell installation in Elmsford is one of several environmental initiatives that the company has undertaken in the New York metro area. Others have included the purchase of 20 hybrid electric delivery trucks and an investment in water-saving technology at its New York production plants.
The company added that it may eventually add fuel cell technology at other production plants within its network of 431 facilities in North America and Western Europe.
UTC Power, a unit of United Technologies Corp., will own and operate the fuel cells under a 10-year energy services agreement with Coca-Cola Enterprises.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority said that it is providing $2 million to support the project. The authority, established by the state in 1975, provides energy technical and financial assistance to businesses.