BY SABRINA SHU ’21
Trinity has recently installed a FuelCell energy unit on Crescent Street adjacent to Ferris Athletic Center. FuelCell Energy is a corporation which, according to their own website, “solves power generation challenges, cleanly, efficiently, and affordably.” FuelCell helps higher education insti- tutions reduce the emission of carbon, increase the a school’s sustainability, and offer predictable power. In a previous conversation with Newstimes, President and CEO of FuelCell Energy Chip Bottone added: “As numerous universities and colleges have demonstrated, fuel cells are an ideal solution for higher education to enhance energy resiliency in a clean and affordable manner.” Many other schools have chosen FuelCell as their partner in order to reduce the emission of carbon, including the University of California, Central Connecticut State University, California State University-San Bernardino, and San Francisco State University.
FuelCell signed an agreement with the Trinity College on May 22, 2017. This agreement will “install a 1.4-megawatt fuel cell power plant pro- jected to save the institution approximately 30 percent in annual energy costs.” By signing this contract, Trinity College has taken another step on toward its goal of relying solely on renewable sources for its energy needs.
Trinity has cited this move as evidence of their increasing progress in at- tending to environmental concerns. Vice President for Finance and Operations Dan Hitchell, in a press release, stated that “Trinity is committed to enhancing environmental awareness, responsibility, and sustainability throughout our College community and this on-site fuel cell power solution is a first step.”
Many students have expressed support for the project, including ConnPIRG Regional Director Trinna Larsen ’20, who sat down with the Tripod. Ms. Larsen stated that she “thinks it is really good that Trinity College is moving in the right direction towards becoming cleaner and more sustainable.”
Trinity, as a member of the Second Nature Climate Leadership Commitment, the agreement signed by former President James F. Jones, Jr., reduce its emissions by 50% by 2050. Students recognize that the work is not over, with Ms. Larsen adding that she “believes that the Fuel Cell is a really great first step.”