NYPA Energizes New York Aquarium
With Fuel Cell
May 15, 2002
BROOKLYN—For nearly 105 years, the New York Aquarium has embraced
innovations enabling visitors to experience the world’s aquatic wildlife.
Today, the Wildlife Conservation Society, the aquarium’s operators,
acknowledged the New York Power Authority’s (NYPA) assistance as it deploys
innovative clean energy technology to help meet the aquarium’s power needs.
A clean energy fuel cell, installed at the aquarium, will produce
electricity through a non-combustion chemical process which combines
hydrogen and oxygen.
“Given its proud history, the New York Aquarium remains consistent with
its environmental mission by seeking out a clean energy source, said NYPA
President and CEO Eugene W. Zeltmann.
“Under the leadership of Governor George Pataki, NYPA has more than doubled
its annual investment in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies.
This fuel cell helps meet two of Governor Pataki’s important objectives –
cleaner air and a reliable, economical electricity supply for all New
Yorkers,” Zeltmann said.
“It is important for the New York Aquarium, as part of the Wildlife
Conservation Society, to find ways to protect the environment by conserving
energy and using clean energy sources,” said New York Aquarium Director Dr.
“The New York Aquarium is one of Brooklyn’s jewels as well as a major
educational resource for our young people. Adding new clean energy
technology here helps our environment while protecting this living
institution,” said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
The Aquarium’s fuel cell is the first installed in Brooklyn by the Power
Authority. The PC25TM fuel cell
developed by UTC Fuel Cells generates 200 kilowatts of electricity and
700,000 Btu of heat while producing virtually no pollution. Fueled by
natural gas, the fuel cell will supply approximately 20 percent of the
aquarium’s daily requirements. The heat from the fuel cell will be used to
preheat hot water for the administration building boiler and support system
With species ranging from beluga whales,
walruses, sea otters, sharks, penguins and seals, the aquarium must operate
an elaborate water storage and filtration system 24 hours a day.
Funding for the $1.1 million project was a collaborative effort between the
New York Power Authority, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Office
of the Brooklyn Borough President. DOE funding of $200,000 was provided
through an $800,000 grant awarded to the Power Authority in the late 1990’s
to install four fuel cells in the New York metropolitan area. The Borough
President’s Office provided $100,000. NYPA provided the remainder of the
funding from its long-term energy services agreement with the City of New
NYPA has installed fuel cells at the New York Police Department
Central Park Precinct, the North Central Bronx Hospital and Yonkers
Wastewater Treatment Plant, the world’s first fueled by the waste gases
produced through the wastewater cleansing process.
Situated on 14 acres in Coney Island, the New
York Aquarium is home to over 350 species of aquatic wildlife and over 8,000
specimens. The Aquarium continues its mission to raise public awareness
about issues facing the ocean and its inhabitants with its special exhibits,
public events and research.
The New York Power Authority is the nation’s largest state-owned
utility supplying about a quarter of the state’s energy needs. In the New York City metropolitan region,
NYPA electricity serves the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the New
York City Housing Authority, the Port Authority, the New York State Office
of General Services, the Javits Convention Center and the City of New York. NYPA also provides energy efficiency assistance and other customized
services to assist its customers to reduce energy costs.