Resuscitating an industry in crisis
FuelCell Energy (FCE) had just lost a competitive bid for energy procurement with Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for the second time in three years. As a result, it lost 60% of their market cap in 24 hours, jeopardizing business and the entire fuel cell industry (which is largely Connecticut-based).
Our team constructed a communications campaign to raise awareness about the misguided nature of the procurement process, and to highlight the benefits of fuel cells as a source of renewable energy. GSG also registered as communicator lobbyists, allowing us to educate government officials directly on the issue.
As the issue progressed, we developed a messaging toolkit to guide our communications, breaking down the complex chemistry of fuel cell technology into more understandable pieces with which to educate the Governor’s office, the Legislature and the public. We executed a media relations strategy that sought to raise awareness of the fuel cell industry and FCE itself, with great short-term success: a positive business column on the front page of the Hartford Courant, and a supportive political column in The Day of New London.
Our messaging, media and legislative efforts paid off when the legislature passed, and Governor Malloy ultimately signed, legislation that overhauls the renewable energy procurement process to specifically benefit the fuel cell industry in Connecticut.
As a direct result of that legislation being passed, FuelCell Energy was awarded two large renewable energy projects by the State of Connecticut, which will ultimately result in more than $100 million of economic activity for the company, and which will require them to hire in excess of 100 new full-time workers.