FuelCell Energy Expands in Germany

Written By Brianna Panzica

Posted June 28, 2012

Danbury, CT-based FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) is a competitor to well-known Bloom Energy. And yet the companies differ in several ways.

For one, FuelCell Energy is a publicly traded company. Investors are still waiting for any news of a potential Bloom Energy stock or IPO date.

FuelCell Energy has products that generate 300kW, 1.4MW, or 2.8MW, while Bloom’s fuel cells are smaller, generating 100kW or 200kW.

And while Bloom Energy is working on expanding across the nation, FuelCell Energy is going international.

Back in May, FuelCell announced an acquisition of assets from German company MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH to merge with its German subsidiary FuelCell Energy Solutions GmbH. The subsidiary would also form a partnership with Fraunhofer IKTS, which would provide FuelCell with intellectual property.

And last Tuesday the company announced that these acquisitions had been successfully completed.

From the press release:

“We have the right partner in Fraunhofer to help us develop and grow the European market and our variable cost strategy, including production assets and inventory acquired at no cost, allows us to create the foundation for growth with subsequent investment predicated on order volume,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer for Fuel Cell Energy, Inc. “I remain encouraged with the outlook for clean baseload distributed generation in Europe despite the macro-economic challenges the region is facing and I say this based on recent discussions with prospective customers and government officials.”

FuelCell Energy’s products are called Direct FuelCell (DFC), and they can run on biofuels, natural gas, and a number of other fuels. They offer on-site generation and work efficiently to reduce CO2 emissions.

Under the new partnership, Fraunhofer will take a 25% ownership in FuelCell Energy Solutions GmbH.

In turn, the research institute will offer intellectual property of its fuel cell research, one of its main areas of focus, including that obtained from MTU Friedrichshafen.

Just last week, FuelCell was involved in a lawsuit against Denver Governor Jack Markell for cronyism with Bloom Energy.

Complaints have been filed, but the suit has yet to move forward.

FuelCell Energy was down 3.2% on Thursday to $0.96.

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