New fuel-cell system will power First National's data center

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Posted: Thursday, November 28, 2013 12:00 am

First National Bank of Omaha has bought a new fuel-cell energy system from a California company, and will use it to power its data center.

The Omaha-based bank, the largest privately held one in the nation and the largest based in Nebraska, purchased the system from ClearEdge Power, the energy company said in a statement. The system generates 400 kilowatts of heat and electrical power, ClearEdge said. While estimates vary widely, the 400 kilowatts is enough energy to power from about 150 to 400 average U.S. homes at any given time.

It is First National’s second fuel-cell system, an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce electricity, heat and water. The bank has powered its data center since 1999 with ClearEdge Power’s earlier 200-kilowatt fuel cell system.

By generating power on-site with a fuel cell, First National will prevent the release of more than 1,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of planting more than 350 acres of trees, ClearEdge said.

“First National Bank of Omaha has been a pioneer in the successful incorporation of fuel cells,” ClearEdge said in a statement. “First National Bank of Omaha continues to benefit from the high levels of reliability and the environmental savings achieved through the use of clean, efficient fuel cell technology.”

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