31 May 2011 – Ausgrid has bought 25 Blue Gen gas to electricity units from Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited for part of Newcastle’s $100 million “Smart Grid, Smart City” project.
Ausgrid (formerly Energy Australia) which will install the units in homes over the next few months.

Ceramic Fuel Cells said the order follows the company’s previous purchase of a BlueGen unit for its smart home in the Sydney suburb of Newington where the unit has been generating about twice as much electricity as the family has been using to run household appliances and charge an electric vehicle. Excess electricity generated has been exported to the grid.

Brendan Dow, managing director of Ceramic Fuel Cells, said: “The distributed generation of electricity – creating electricity near the place of use, rather than centrally – is an important part of the future of smart grids.”

Ausgrid managing director George Maltabarow said: “We’re testing whether adding distributed generation like fuel cells can make the grid more efficient by flattening out peaks in electricity demand, as well as deliver benefits to households.”

The smart grid project consortium, CSIRO, IBM Australia, AGL, GE Energy, TransGrid, Newcastle City Council and the NSW Government.