Groton, Connecticut is home to one of Pfizer Inc.’s largest research facilities in the United States. This is a significant corporate asset, and after incidents when the facility unexpectedly lost power, Pfizer felt that it needed to improve the dependability of electric power at the site beyond the current sources that included on-site generation and power from the local utility. Pfizer turned to Fuel Cell Energy to install two fuel cells on the site. As part of the installation, Pfizer had to add the fuel cells to its on-site generation, interconnected to the utility grid in Groton.
As these were the first fuel cells installed in a municipally-owned electric utility territory in Connecticut, the project and interconnection requirements created first impression issues that none of the parties had anticipated. As counsel to Pfizer in the matter, Pullman & Comley worked with both the local utility and Fuel Cell Energy to negotiate an interconnection agreement that allowed the fuel cells to be successfully installed on schedule. The interconnection agreement required unique, out-of-the-box thinking and drafting to ensure that it satisfied the needs of all of the parties involved, including Pfizer, Fuel Cell Energy and its investors, the municipally-owned utility, and the utility’s power supplier.