FuelCell Energy Closes Tax Equity Financing with East West Bank for the 7.4 MW U.S. Navy Submarine Base Fuel Cell Project

Aug 09, 2021

DANBURY, Conn., Aug. 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL) -- a global leader in fuel cell technology with a purpose of utilizing its proprietary, state-of-the-art fuel cell platforms to enable a world empowered by clean energy—announced today that the Company closed on a tax equity financing transaction with East West Bank for the 7.4 megawatts (“MW”) fuel cell project located on the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton, CT, also known as the Submarine Force. East West Bank’s tax equity commitment totals $15 million. We believe that this commitment further demonstrates the market’s interest in financing FuelCell Energy’s distributed sustainable energy platforms as the Company works with customers to achieve their decarbonization and enhanced grid resiliency goals.

“We are thrilled to team up with East West Bank, partnering on this important financing solution and supporting our commercial platform deployment,” said Michael Bishop, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of FuelCell Energy. “This efficient financing enables FuelCell Energy to retain most of this project’s long-term, recurring cash flow, and creates a structure that will facilitate additional capital opportunities that are expected to further return cash to the Company and enhance overall return on equity for this project.”

The Company continues to advance the project through mechanical completion and expects commercial operation to commence prior to the end of September 2021. Following commercial operation, the Company expects to add back-leverage debt financing to complete the project’s capital structure.

“East West Bank is delighted to partner with FuelCell Energy on the fuel cell project located on the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Connecticut,” said Christopher Simeone, Senior Vice President with East West Bank. “As a leader in financing clean and alternative energies, we look forward to seeing the U.S. Navy and the Groton community benefit from this important project.”

“The U.S. Navy Submarine Base project is a milestone project for FuelCell Energy, demonstrating our high quality and reliable clean energy solution that enables electrical resiliency with the country’s most critical infrastructure, while supporting the Navy’s decarbonization goals” said Jason Few, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy. “The United States Defense Critical Electrical Infrastructure initiative is important to national security, and we are honored to have an opportunity to deploy our platform in a microgrid configuration towards this mission,” Few added. “We are optimistic that the current policy focus on infrastructure should present additional opportunities to deploy our SureSource™ platform in support of the Defense Critical Electrical Infrastructure initiative.”

FuelCell Energy installed 7.4 MW of SureSource™ power platforms at the U.S. Navy Submarine Base in Groton, CT to provide a long-term supply of power to an existing electrical substation. The fuel cell plant is part of a multifaceted plan by the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative (“CMEEC”) to provide new power resources and support the desire of the Department of Defense to add resiliency and grid independence to key military installations. The highly efficient fuel cell power generation project minimizes carbon output while providing continuous power to the strategic military base. The U.S. Navy continues to purchase power from CMEEC and Groton Utilities, who in turn purchase the power from FuelCell Energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement. This pay-as-you-go structure enables CMEEC and the Navy to avoid a direct investment in owning the power plant which will be operated and maintained by the Company.

About East West Bank

East West Bank provides financial services that help clients reach further and connect to new opportunities. The bank is wholly-owned by East West Bancorp, Inc., which has total assets of $59.9 billion and is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “EWBC.” East West Bank operates over 120 locations in the United States and China. In the United States, East West Bank has branches in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Texas and Washington. In China, East West’s presence includes full-service branches in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shantou and Shenzhen, and representative offices in Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, and Xiamen. For more information on East West, visit www.eastwestbank.com.

About FuelCell Energy

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL): FuelCell Energy is a global leader in sustainable clean energy technologies that address some of the world’s most critical challenges around energy, safety and global urbanization. As a leading global manufacturer of proprietary fuel cell technology platforms, FuelCell Energy is uniquely positioned to serve customers worldwide with sustainable products and solutions for businesses, utilities, governments and municipalities. Our solutions are designed to enable a world empowered by clean energy, enhancing the quality of life for people around the globe. We target large-scale power users with our megawatt-class installations globally, and currently offer sub-megawatt solutions for smaller power consumers in Europe. To provide a frame of reference, one megawatt is adequate to continually power approximately 1,000 average sized U.S. homes. We develop turn-key distributed power generation solutions and operate and provide comprehensive service for the life of the power plant. Our fuel cell solution is a clean, efficient alternative to traditional combustion-based power generation, and is complementary to an energy mix consisting of intermittent sources of energy, such as solar and wind turbines. Our customer base includes utility companies, municipalities, universities, hospitals, government entities/military bases and a variety of industrial and commercial enterprises. Our leading geographic markets are currently the United States and South Korea, and we are pursuing opportunities in other countries around the world. FuelCell Energy, based in Connecticut, was founded in 1969.

SureSource, SureSource 1500, SureSource 3000, SureSource 4000, SureSource Recovery, SureSource Capture, SureSource Hydrogen, SureSource Storage, SureSource Service, SureSource Treatment, SureSource Capital, FuelCell Energy, and FuelCell Energy logo are all trademarks of FuelCell Energy, Inc.

Cautionary Language

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 regarding future events or our future financial performance that involve certain contingencies and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements with respect to the Company’s anticipated financial results and statements regarding the Company’s plans and expectations regarding the continuing development, commercialization and financing of its fuel cell technology and its business plans and strategies. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, and all forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation: general risks associated with product development and manufacturing; general economic conditions; changes in the utility regulatory environment; changes in the utility industry and the markets for distributed generation, distributed hydrogen, and fuel cell power platforms configured for carbon capture or carbon sequestration; potential volatility of energy prices; availability of government subsidies and economic incentives for alternative energy technologies; our ability to remain in compliance with U.S. federal and state and foreign government laws and regulations and the listing rules of The Nasdaq Stock Market; rapid technological change; competition; the risk that our bid awards will not convert to contracts or that our contracts will not convert to revenue; market acceptance of our products; changes in accounting policies or practices adopted voluntarily or as required by accounting principles generally accepted in the United States; factors affecting our liquidity position and financial condition; government appropriations; the ability of the government and third parties to terminate their development contracts at any time; the ability of the government to exercise “march-in” rights with respect to certain of our patents; the arbitration and other legal proceedings with POSCO Energy Co., Ltd.; our ability to implement our strategy; our ability to reduce our levelized cost of energy and our cost reduction strategy generally; our ability to protect our intellectual property; litigation and other proceedings; the risk that commercialization of our products will not occur when anticipated; our need for and the availability of additional financing; our ability to generate positive cash flow from operations; our ability to service our long-term debt; our ability to increase the output and longevity of our power plants and to meet the performance requirements of our contracts; our ability to expand our customer base and maintain relationships with our largest customers and strategic business allies; changes by the U.S. Small Business Administration or other governmental authorities to, or with respect to the implementation or interpretation of, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, the Paycheck Protection Program or related administrative matters; and concerns with, threats of, or the consequences of, pandemics, contagious diseases or health epidemics, including the novel coronavirus, and resulting supply chain disruptions, shifts in clean energy demand, impacts to our customers’ capital budgets and investment plans, impacts to our project schedules, impacts to our ability to service existing projects, and impacts on the demand for our products, as well as other risks set forth in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement contained or incorporated by reference herein to reflect any change in the Company’s expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

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Source: FuelCell Energy, Inc.