Fuelcell news both good, bad

By Marc Silvestrini, Republican American

FuelCell Energy Inc. reported a wider first-quarter loss late Tuesday and also noted the state Department of Public Utility Control has issued a revised draft decision that approves three additional power-generating projects that will require its fuel cell power plants.

The Danbury-based fuel cell maker, which employs about 225 workers at a manufacturing facility in Torrington, reported a net loss of $20.7 million, or 30 cents per diluted share, for the quarter that ended Jan. 31, compared with a loss of $19.7 million, or 29 cents per diluted share, for the first quarter of 2008.

The company said revenues jumped 45 percent to $21.7 million from $15 million in the same quarter of the previous year. However, its net loss grew wider because the higher volume of product sales increased expenses, while the timing of customer milestone payments and delays in the closing of contracts increased its accounts receivable and use of cash and investments.

FuelCell Energy also said the DPUC's revised draft decision approves five projects that will incorporate the company's DFC, or Direct FuelCell, power plants. The five projects will involve power plants totaling a combined 27.3 megawatts of power.