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Bloom Energy fined for operating new fuel cells ahead of permitting

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Courtesy of Bloom Energy
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State regulators have slapped Bloom Energy with two violations and a $40,000 penalty for allegedly starting up new equipment before the company was allowed. 

 

According to the DNREC order released last week, the electricity company began operating newly installed fuel cells at its New Castle facility more than a month before they were permitted to, and operated above the permitted capacity for one day. 

A spokesperson for Bloom Energy says the company “will comply with this DNREC requirement going forward.”

The construction permit for the upgraded fuel cells was approved in April despite concerns from some residents and advocates. Company representatives say the upgraded cells allow for more efficient electricity generation.

Bloom’s operations in Delaware are controversial, largely because of a roughly $5 surcharge Delmarva Power ratepayers pay on their utility bills which goes to Bloom Energy. 

Bloom also received $12 million in state incentives — $1.5 million of which it was forced to return in 2017 for failure to follow through on employment promises.

 

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