At The Alhambra complex on Fremont Avenue, new fuel-efficient energy cells are being implemented which, according to the LA Times, "could change the way homes and offices are powered." The campus is a former CF Braun manufacturing firm that the Ratkovitch Company redesigned into a mixture of businesses, agencies, and educational intitutions — including the Alhambra Source.
"On Tuesday, the boxes — each somewhat bigger than an SUV — will begin generating enough electricity to power about a quarter of the complex, saving the property owner about $500,000 a year in electricity bills," according to the in-depth LA Times business feature. With the set running $4 million, costs should be covered in less than a deade.
Fuel cell technology is not new, but was prohibitively expensive until recently. Developments in the low-emission electricity, however, have lead to an "explosive" recent increase, Scott Sameulsen, direct of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at UC Irvine told the Times. But while new projects are emerging around California, this is one of the first big ones in the Los Angeles area.
Wayne Ratkovitch, the company's chief executive, told the Times that if they are pleased with the results they will consider adding five more, showcase them to the public, and even lead tour of the fuels cells.
"We're protecting them for a bit, being a little cautious, because it's kind of like having a new car," he said. "But we'd like to set up tours, incorporate them into our front yard. They're a good sign of what we're up to here."