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Bloom Energy fined $40K for violating air quality regulations

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The Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has fined Bloom Energy for $40,000 along with $5,454 in cost recovery for violating the state’s air quality regulations.

Secretary Shawn M. Garvin issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty and Secretary’s Order to Diamond State Generation Partners, LLC, the parent company of Bloom Energy, for violations at the company’s Red Lion facility in Newark, which converts natural gas into electrical power.

The violations that occurred from June 16 through July 19 took place during an extended regulatory process to upgrade the energy plant.

Bloom Energy had requested a permit to upgrade/replace 42 fuel cells at the plant in October of 2018.

DNREC granted the permit on the condition that the company would allow the agency to inspect and approve the upgraded fuel cells before resuming operations.

What happened instead, according to the DNREC, is that Bloom Energy put the new fuel cells to use in June prior to the inspection.

On June 16, DNREC reports, the plant exceeded its legal capacity of 27 mega-watts. It dropped back down the following day, but the violations had been made. Bloom operated the new equipment prior to approval and exceeded its legal capacity.

The full administrative notice from DNREC is available here.

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