Fuel cell delivers cost, energy savings to campus

SF State's fuel cell plant is saving the campus thousands of dollars in heating costs and helping reduce the University's greenhouse gas emissions.

A collaborative project with Pacific Gas and Electric, the fuel cell is a clean source of energy and was installed on campus in 2011. It generates power for PG&E's electricity grid and produces heat used to warm campus buildings and make hot water.

Photo of the front of the fuel cell plant, showing pipes and equipment

Front view of the fuel cell plant, located north of the Gymnasium

Fuel cells use an electrochemical process to convert hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, with heat as a by-product. Since the process doesn't involve combustion, it's a clean and highly efficient source of energy.

SF State's fuel cell is part of an ambitious, campus-wide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As one of the first signatories to the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, the University has committed to being a leader in addressing climate change. President Les Wong recently signed the commitment, renewing SF State's pledge to neutralize its greenhouse-gas emissions and promote research and education that helps society tackle global climate change.

More information about sustainability initiatives at SF State can be found at: http://www.sfsu.edu/~sustain/index.html

--Elaine Bible