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bottoneDANBURY:- FuelCell Energy [Nasdaq: FCEL] is laying off 96 employees including layoffs at its headquarters in Danbury, and it manufacturing facility in Torrington.

FuelCell Energy designs, manufactures, operates and services fuel cell power plants.

Chip Bottone, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy, explained the move. “we are streamlining our business and cost structure as we reduce our production levels to meet the backlog we have today while positioning the company for long-term success.”

The company which was recently selected as one of the fastest growing companies in Connecticut by the Connecticut Technology Council and Marcum the accounting firm. FuelCell has experienced two important setbacks in the past year leading to the restructuring and the hopes of reducing operating costs by $6 million.

The company had benefited by a partnership and investment from Posco of  Seoul, Korea, the fourth largest steel company in the world. Posco has built the largest fuel cell facility in the world with fuel cells built by FuelCell Energy’s Torrington Plant. Korea has made a major commitment to fuel cell technology and Doosan another Korean company operates Doosan Fuel Cells in Windsor.

Posco had a tough year in 2015 with significant loses including in its Fuel Cell subsidiary. 

FuelCell Energy is also have some difficulties getting a power purchase agreement for the it new 68 megawatt fuel cell facility in Beacon Falls,  largest fuel cell plant in the world..

The company completed a 5.6 megawatt fuel cell project this fall located at the Pfizer campus in Groton.

The Beacon Falls project is expected to go forward but wasn’t selected for a “clean energy” power purchase agreement from a consortium that includes Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  Massachusetts and Rhode Island do not consider the Fuel Cells as renewable energy. Exxon on the other hand has signed a research and development agreement with the company to use its fuel cells to capture carbon from fossil fuel power plants.