Legrand, North America has installed a 500kW, solid-oxide fuel cell system to provide cleaner and more efficient power to its headquarters in West Hartford, Conn. The Fuel Cell will sit adjacent to the company’s corporate offices and Wiremold manufacturing facility, and is expected to produce up to 88 percent of the electricity to every building on its 263,000-square-foot, 100-year-old campus.

Legrand sought to find a solution that would reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of its corporate facility, and reduce wasteful spending on energy. The new fuel cell will generate an approximate 21 percent reduction in energy intensity and as much as 50 percent reduction in harmful CO2 emissions for the West Hartford facility. At system capacity, the net savings will be approximately $2.4 million over the first 10 years.

Five years ago, Legrand made a commitment to reduce the energy intensity by 25 percent in 10 years across 14 of its U.S. facilities and pushed the envelope to reduce its West Hartford facility’s energy intensity by 10% in only two years. These commitments established Legrand as a Better Buildings, Better Plant “Challenge Partner” in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings program. Within two years, Legrand met both goals and subsequently committed to achieving even higher energy reduction levels across all of its facilities throughout North America by 2022.

“Legrand now has its sights set on achieving another 25 percent total reduction in energy intensity across all of its North American facilities from a 2012 baseline; and the fuel cell is going to help us meet that lofty goal here in West Hartford,” said Susan Rochford, vice president of energy efficiency, sustainability & public policy at Legrand, North America.

Solid oxide fuel cells are electromechanical devices that convert the chemical energy of fuel and an oxidant directly into electrical energy without combustion taking place, for an energy source with a much lower environmental impact compared to legacy power systems. The cells require a sand-like powder instead of precious metals, which cost much less. Conversion from fuel to electricity happens at twice the rate of conventional technologies.

“Our sustainability initiatives reach beyond our operational footprint,” said John Selldorff, CEO of Legrand, North and Central America. “Legrand is also very focused on delivering solutions for our customers that enable high-performance buildings to reach exceptional levels of efficiency, productivity — and equally high sustainability standards.”

Nearly 600 employees work at Legrand’s West Hartford facility, which serves as its corporate headquarters and a manufacturing facility for its Wiremold product line. To learn more about Legrand, North America, visit www.legrand.us.