Verizon cuts energy costs with fuel cells
You might have heard about fuel cells for cars. But what about for phones? That's the unlikely but surprisingly successful experiment Verizon has been conducting for the last year in Garden City, New York, reports. A 292,000-sq. ft. telephone and data switching center that provides service to 35,000 customers on Long Island is powered on fuel cells, using the electrical grid only as a backup. As a result, the company has cut energy costs by $680,000 a year -- almost triple the savings it expected. As a bonus, it's eliminated 11.1 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions.

The fuel cell installation's a great idea -- cutting pollution is laudable, and saving money is better yet. But those savings must be coming at the expense of the local electric utility, the Long Island Power Authority.

Our suggestion to LIPA: Install VOIP lines in your local office, and maybe keep a Verizon land line or two around just as a backup. Turnabout is entirely fair play.
Posted by Owen Thomas 10:20 AM 7 Comments comment | Add a Comment

Now that is some good news. I applaud Verision for this
Posted By Mike Barone, Rocherster, NY : 1:05 PM  

That the project turned a profit while greatly increasing reliability of their power system is very impressive. If I were a VC I'd be very interested in any company that could apply this technology on a large scale.

There are many industries other than Telecomm that spend big bucks on back up power systems. A back up power system that has any ROI would be an easy sell against expensive batteries with relatively short life cycles or diesel generators that require frequent maintenance.
Posted By Ward, Atlanta GA : 1:20 PM  

With the Ipod/Apple killer wantabees out there getting more agressive, put me in the "disapointed" column after
Steve Jobs presentation.
Posted By Paul Riemer, Bay Villaage, Ohio : 2:21 PM  

I'm stunned this didn't get bigger press; this is BIG news. Cleaner energy sources are routinely rubber-stamped as "too costly". Not only did Verizon reward it's shareholders with enhanced profitability, it also proved that fuel cells are viable for large-scale & high-reliability power needs.
Posted By Greg Ebert, Portland OR : 3:02 PM  

It may sound counter intuitive, but it is true: cutting energy demand actualy saves money for ConEdison too.
Posted By Santa Clara, CA : 3:02 PM  

LIPA is the local Power company in Garden City, not Con Edison
Posted By KB, LI, NY : 3:22 PM  

With record energy usage in NY how in the world could you say the savings are coming at the expense of the energy company. What a terrible line.
Posted By Adam, Lincoln, NE : 5:45 PM  

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