Serving the energy industry for over 30 years
By - Jon Brown

Fuel Cells for Electric Utilities Webcast 3: Improving Baseload
Electric Utility Scale Fuel Cells
March 26, 2019 | Online :: 1:00 - 2:30 PM Eastern



Fuel cells improve baseload. Depending on the state, fuel cells can be classified as renewables. Unlike intermittent renewables, fuel cells can have a 95 percent availability (capacity) factor. Compare that to wind power (30 percent) and solar power (15 percent) and you can see what fuel cells can bring to the table. Fuel cells use a chemical process to convert hydrogen into electricity, not a combustion process. Fuel cells can displace fossil-fueled resources that would otherwise have resulted in substantial carbon and NOx emissions. Fuel cells can accommodate: 

  1. Distributed generation that increases grid resiliency and reliability
  2. Fuel cells can be dispatched by the system operator. Utility-scale fuel cell systems (e.g., 15 to 50 MW systems) can be comprised of multiple two to four MW fuel cells, each of which can be separately dispatched (load following) by the system operator to adjust to changing system demand
  3. Microgrids supported by fuel cells that can power hospitals, colleges, and neighborhoods when the power grid is down
  4. The pilot project in Alabama is an “elephant in the room.” The prospect of using carbonate fuel cells to concentrate natural gas or coal CO2 emissions in a way that supports economic carbon sequestration while also generating electricity, would be a “home run” application of fuel cells
  5. Emissions reduction and de-carbonization. Fuel cells can displace fossil-fueled resources that currently provide 24/7 support for intermittent renewables. This will become more important as renewable performance standards move higher
  6. Fuel cell vehicles may have a “long haul” advantage relative to batteries, especially for large vehicles. Refueling a fuel cell vehicle might be similar to refueling a gasoline powered vehicle
  7. Long-duration energy storage fuel cells can support the increased penetration of intermittent renewables may be an effective alternative to batteries

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the benefits to large deployments of fuel cells that can be installed near distribution substations or integrated into the transmission grid such as: (1) reduced line losses and transmission congestion; (2) reduced O&M and fuel costs; and (3) avoided distribution and/or transmission system infrastructure investments 
  • Explain how utility-scale fuel cell systems can fit into existing utility resource procurement processes 
  • Describe how fuel cells can be used in urban areas where other resource alternatives would be impractical 



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 0.2 CEUs for this event.

Requirements for Successful Completion of Program  

Must be logged on for the entirety of each webinar and complete an assessment with a 70% or higher at the adjournment of the webinar.

Instructional Methods  

Power Point presentations, case studies, and open discussion will be used.  


Tuesday, March 26, 2019 

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. Eastern

Connecting Electricity Industry and Fuel Cells 

  • Generation, transmission, distribution, and retail sale  
  • Wholesale competition, RTOs/ISOs, retail competition  
  • Traditional states v. retail competition states 
  • Baseload, load following (cycling), speakers, and storage 
  • Comparison to solar and wind 
  • Comparison to coal and nuclear units 
  • Comparison to battery storage  
  • End of life cycles of some nuclear and coal units  

Increasing the Market Share of Renewables 

  • Displacement of fossil fuels 
  • Solar that is curtailed could be stored, but there are limitations 
  • Renewable portfolio standards 
  • Renewable energy credits 
  • Resource procurement via RFPs and Auctions 
  • Selling into the market v. power purchase agreements  
  • Funding construction of utility-scale generation 
  • Equity and debt funding after COD (commercial operation) is achieved 

Integrating Fuel Cells: Transmission and Distribution into the Grid 

  • Distributed resources 
  • Smart siting to reduce the need for new transmission lines and distribution infrastructure investment 
  • Microgrids 
  • Combined heat and power (CHP) 
  • Tri-generation: electricity, steam/hot water, and hydrogen 
  • Fuel cells and carbon sequestration


Wayne P. Olson, CFA 

Mr. Olson wrote a book entitled The A to Z of Public Utility Regulation, published by Fortnightly (Public Utilities Reports) in May 2015. This book is an introduction to the subject of public utility regulation, providing a sound first look into the public utility industry and its regulatory issues, including the restructuring of regulated industries to accommodate competition. Mr. Olson’s articles have appeared in industry journals, such as Public Utilities Fortnightly and the Electricity Journal. The subjects of Mr. Olson’s previous Electricity Journal articles include formula-based ratemaking, fuel adjustment mechanisms, the sharing of merger savings, secrecy/transparency in the regulatory process, efficient electric restructuring, branding and standards of conduct, incentive ratemaking, and the lessons of the New Institutional Economics, among others. 

Mr. Olson received an M.A. in economics and a B.S. in business administration with majors in economics and accounting from the University of North Dakota. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst and passed the examinations to be a Certified Public Accountant. 

Mr. Olson is a Principal at Solutions Economics (, a consulting firm, with experience gained from over 100 projects in more than 30 countries. Before that, he was a Senior Consultant at National Economic Research Associates. Among other activities while at NERA, Wayne worked on electric restructuring issues. merger-related regulatory issues, fuel adjustment clause issues, and cost of capital and other ratemaking issues in both the United States and Canada., In addition, I co-wrote the Business Plan for the National Energy Regulator of South Africa on behalf of the South Africa Department of Minerals and Energy. 


Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

EventEarly Bird Before
Monday, March 18, 2019
Standard RateAttendees
Fuel Cells for Electric Utilities Webcast 3: Improving BaseloadUS $ 295.00 US $ 345.00

This event has the following related events:

Fuel Cells for Electric Utilities Webcast 1: Learning the BasicsUS $ 295.00 US $ 345.00
Fuel Cells for Electric Utilities Webcast 2: Reviewing Best PracticesUS $ 295.00 US $ 345.00

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Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before March 05, 2019 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800

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