Today in Cleantech

Some news from Bloom Energy this morning. First, from Dow Jones VentureWire comes a report that the ultra-hyped, Silicon Valley solid-oxide fuel cell maker has raised an additional $100 million to add to its existing war chest of $400 million raised from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, New Enterprise Associates, and Morgan Stanley. Next, we learn from Bloom that it will indeed be selling its natural gas-fueled Bloom Energy Servers via a power purchase agreement model to be called Bloom Electrons. Instead of paying for the fuel cell up front (they cost $700,000 to $800,000 apiece), customers can sign a 10-year contract to buy the electricity they produce at a set price, earning some green cred and a reliable backup power source to boot. Just how Bloom will price its contracts is the big question. Lux Research predicts Bloom’s fuel cells could produce power for 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour, taking federal and state subsidies and 24/7 operation into account and assuming natural gas is selling for $7 per million BTU. That’s just under U.S. average grid power prices of 11 cents per kWh. But absent government support, Bloom’s power cost rises to 13 to 14 cents per kWh, Lux predicts — a tough sell for a PPA.

Relevant analyst in fuel cells
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