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Potential to double cogeneration in Europe

There is potential for at least an additional 122 GWe of cogeneration capacity in Europe, on top of the existing 97 GWe installed today, according to EU Member States reporting under a requirement of the Cogeneration Directive 2004/08/EC.

Cogeneration is therefore an economic option in the search for measures to close the energy efficiency gap in the 2020 energy savings target, says COGEN Europe, which is monitoring implementation of the Directive. At a European Parliamentary event hosted by Fiona Hall MEP, COGEN Europe presented the first analysis of Member States’ assessment of the cogeneration potential, showing that doubling the existing cogeneration capacity is economically possible. Experts heard how Member States must give more focus to cogeneration in their efforts to achieving their energy and climate targets.

The Member States reports show that, in the majority of cases, there is substantial opportunity to expand cogeneration. Germany’s assessment shows one of the highest potentials: over 50% of Germany’s current electricity could be supplied using high efficiency cogeneration. ‘The potentials assessed by Member States offer a clear energy saving opportunity’, commented Fiona Riddoch, managing director of COGEN Europe. ‘It is time for the European Commission to consider a cogeneration target for Europe.’

Currently, around 11% of Europe’s electricity and heat requirements are produced by cogeneration, which delivers a saving of up to 25% on primary fuel compared to separate production of heat and electricity, says COGEN Europe. Member States have identified a wide spread of additional opportunities for cogeneration, ranging from industry, the tertiary sector and district heating to agriculture and households. Industry is a potentially large user of cogeneration with recent examples in the refinery sector demonstrating substantial carbon savings. In the new Member States, upgrading old heat distribution networks of district heating to include cogeneration presents a major opportunity.

UK ‘decentralized energy revolution’ – conference

The UK is witnessing green shoots of a decentralized energy revolution, says the UK CHP Association, as local authorities in particular increasingly seek to follow the lead of European leaders in developing schemes using CHP and district heating networks.

According to Ian Manders, deputy director of the CHPA: ‘There is no doubt that the interest central government has shown in decentralized energy is feeding through to the highest number of district heating and CHP projects we have seen in years. The recent announcement from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency of £25 million ($41 million) for district heating schemes, and the £100 million ($163 million) funding secured by London last week – for the development of decentralized energy projects – serve as good examples of how decentralized energy and district heating is developing in the UK.’

UK carbon targets are feeding through into policy initiatives. For example, local authorities in England are now required to plan for sustainable energy opportunities – this means heat mapping at least, with an accompanying policy of requiring builders to install a district heating system as part of new development, says the CHPA.

These moves have been reflected in an increase in membership of the CHPA – the size of the association’s Distributed Energy Services Forum has more than double since 2005.

The increase in activity will be reflected in CHPA’s forthcoming annual conference on 25 November 2009 in London, UK. As the sector develops, so new challenges arise, and these are addressed in the wide-ranging seminars that are part of the conference. The CHPA is also organizing a seminar on 20 November 2009, also in London, on how to adopt CHP and DH across the public estate:

District heat and carbon dioxide scheme for growers

A new project in the Netherlands will see construction of a pipeline grid for the transport and redistribution of residual heat and carbon dioxide from a fertilizer producer for use by vegetable growers in the nearby Terneuzen commercial greenhouse project. The project represents a novel district heat and carbon dioxide scheme.

ABN AMRO Bank and WarmCO2, a joint initiative of port authority Zeeland Seaports, fertilizer producer Yara and infrastructure supplier Visser & Smit Hanab, have signed a ‘green’ financing agreement for €25 million ($37 million), as part of an overall financial investment of €80 million ($119 million).

WarmCO2 will be redistributing up to 84 MW of residual heat and 70,000 tonnes of purified carbon dioxide per year. The carbon dioxide is used by growers to enrich the greenhouse atmosphere and encourage crop growth. Normally, they would use a gas-fired boiler to produce both carbon dioxide and heat throughout the growing season, or a CHP system that also supplies electricity. The redistribution of heat and carbon dioxide from Yara via WarmCO2 will save some 52 million m3 of natural gas, or a 90% reduction in fossil fuel consumption, says Biopark Terneuzen.

Thai refinery to register cogen plant with the CDM

Thai petrochemical company IRPC, together with GE Energy and General Carbon, is to register a proposed cogeneration power plant at its petrochemical complex in Rayong Province as a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project. The CDM programme is an international emissions reduction initiative overseen by the United Nations.

The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with GE and General Carbon to seek project approval from the board that oversees the CDM programme. If approved, IRPC would become the first company in the world to receive certified emissions reduction (CER) credits for reducing emissions after converting to a new energy technology that uses cleaner-burning natural gas, says GE.

IRPC plans to replace the petrochemical complex’s old fuel oil power plant with a new, 200 MW, natural gas-fuelled cogeneration plant. The project is planned to help improve the facility’s energy efficiency, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and lower air emissions in this industrial area. The proposed plant would be powered by six Frame 6B gas turbines supplied by GE Oil & Gas.

The new CHP plant is expected to enable IRPC to reduce its emissions by an estimated 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, making the project eligible for 400,000 CER credits that could be sold in the global carbon marketplace.

Six gas turbine generators for Russian oil company

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Gas turbines which have been ordered from Siemens

Siemens Energy has received an order from the Russian company OOO RN-Tuapsinskiy, a subsidiary of OAO Rosneft, for the supply of six industrial gas turbine generators to supply electricity and steam to the Tuapse refinery located on the Black Sea. The €90 million ($134 million) order involves the supply of SGT-800 gas turbine-generators, each rated at 47 MW.

Six gas turbines and six generators are needed for the generation of energy to accommodate expansion of the Tuapse refinery’s capacity – Tuapse is an important petroleum port on the Black Sea. OOO RN-Tuapsinskiy is currently undertaking extensive expansion and upgrading projects at the refinery to increase the plant’s capacity from a current 38 million to 88 million barrels.

A critical project requirement for the gas turbines being supplied to the Tuapse refinery is their capability to operate on various fuels. The first three gas turbines are scheduled for delivery by late 2010, with the remaining three units to follow by the end of 2012.

First of 15 CHP systems for bottling plants in Europe

The Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company, GE Energy and energy development company ContourGlobal have opened a new cogeneration plant at Coca-Cola Hellenic’s bottling facility in Ploiesti near Bucharest, Romania. The natural gas-fuelled cogeneration plant represents the first of a planned group of 15 CHP plants that will be installed at Coca-Cola Hellenic’s facilities in 12 European countries.

Under the first phase of the Coca Cola Hellenic CHP initiative, GE Energy is supplying ContourGlobal, the project developer, with 19 Jenbacher gas engines – representing a total output of 58 MWe.

The first two of GE’s Jenbacher cogeneration modules were installed at Coca Cola Hellenic’s Romania bottling facility while the other units will be installed at Coca Cola facilities in six other European countries: Ukraine, Russia, Poland, Greece, United Kingdom (Northern Ireland) and Italy.

Subsequent project phases call for additional CHP plants to be installed at bottling facilities in Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Serbia, as well as in the African nation of Nigeria.

Each of the bottling plants utilizing GE Energy’s Jenbacher CHP engines will be able to eliminate up to 40% of their annual carbon dioxide emissions, says GE.

The new Romania cogeneration plant is powered by two of GE’s 3-MW J620 Jenbacher gas engines. The gas engines will be delivered throughout 2009 and 2010, with commissioning scheduled as the plants are ready. The equipment is being built at GE’s gas engine manufacturing centre in Jenbach, Austria.

UK retailer to buy power from adjacent biomass plant

A major UK food retailer has signed an agreement under which MGT Power will supply 100% of the power requirement for Tesco’s Teesport import warehouse from MGT’s proposed 295 MW biomass power station, which will be located adjacent to the warehouse.

The Tesco warehouse opened in August. The biomass-to-power plant, which secured consent from the UK government in July, is targeted to enter commercial operation in 2012. Construction of the plant is set to commence in the first quarter of next year.

Chris Moore, director of MGT Power said: ‘We look forward to working with and developing a relationship with Tesco Teesport. Supplying power to other parts of the Teesport estate is a logical move for ourselves and we are seeking further agreements with other operating facilities in the port and the immediate area.’

The Tees Renewable Energy Plant will operate at baseload – 24 hours a day, all year round. This means it will produce the same amount of renewable electricity over a year as a 1000 MW wind farm, says the developer.

India supplies CHP plant to Belarus

India’s Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL) is to supply a 126 MW gas turbine-based cogeneration plant to the Republic of Belarus’ state-owned Grodnoenergo, to be installed at Grodno in Belarus.

The contract, the first export order for a company from Belarus, also includes the provision of a compressor and heat recovery boiler, with auxiliaries and an automatic process control system to be made at BHEL’s manufacturing units at Hyderabad, Tiruchirapally, Ranipet and Bangalore.

BHEL has identified the CIS region as one of the potential regions for enhancing its overseas business, and the company is establishing a marketing office in Almaty, Kazakhstan. BHEL has already successfully executed a contract with Tengizchevroil for a 40 MW gas turbine generator set in Kazakhstan.

Australian utility trials UK micro-CHP unit

An Australian energy utility has agreed to install a BlueGen micro-CHP generator in a showcase sustainability home for a six month demonstration, beginning in February 2010. The BlueGen device has been developed by the UK-based Ceramic Fuel Cells. The unit will be connected to the existing natural gas pipeline and the power grid, and will generate low emission electricity for the house, as well as heat for the hot water system.

BlueGen is the latest breakthrough in small-scale electricity generation, says Ceramic. About the size of a dishwasher, each unit can produce up to 17 MWh of power a year – twice the electricity needed to power an average home. Surplus electricity can be sold back to the grid.

Each BlueGen can cut a home’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 12 tonnes a year, compared to New South Wales’ current black coal generators, and by almost 18 tonnes a year compared to Victoria’s brown coal generators, adds the company.

While, this is Ceramic Fuel Cells’ first commercial agreement with an Australian energy utility, the company is already deploying demonstration products with utility customers and appliance companies in Germany, France and the UK.

Waste heat community energy project for Canada

A new community energy initiative is to provide heat to a Strathcona County neighbourhood in Alberta, Canada, using the residual heat and synthetic gas from the process employed at the Edmonton waste-to-biofuels plant operated by Enerkem.

Enerkem’s biofuels plant, operated under the name of Enerkem GreenField Alberta Biofuels, will provide the residual heat and synthetic gas from its process as heating and cooling energy for residents and institutions in the Emerald Hills area. The project should reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 7000 tonnes per year when operational in 2012.

The project received grant funding in the form of C$7.45 million ($6.98 million) from the Government of Alberta as part of the ecoTrust programme.

Mini-CHP units for UK health centre

Two DACHS mini-CHP units from Baxi SenerTec UK are providing heat and power for a new centre for health and wellbeing in Southport, northwest England. The units, each producing 12.5 kW of heating and 5.5 kW of electricity, are supplemented by a 750 litre buffer vessel and two exhaust flue gas condensers to boost their heating output by 3 kW each – giving a total output of 31 kW of heat and 11 kW of electricity.

The system is also coupled with two gas condensing boilers which, in conjunction with the CHP units, feed a condensing plate heat exchanger to produce domestic hot water.

The DACHS engine offers an overall fuel efficiency between 79%-92%, says Baxi, and includes an integrated modem for off-site monitoring and control. Up to 10 units can be installed in a multi-module arrangement. The packaged unit is designed for continuous running with a design life of around 80,000 running hours. The internal combustion engine drives a low-maintenance three-phase electrical generator, and the heat generated by the engine is captured and transferred to the building’s heating system.

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A new health centre in Southport, northwest England, is being heated using CHP.

Scottish paper mill secures biomass cogen plant

RWE npower renewables has concluded a contract with papermaker Tullis Russell to supply its paper mill at Markinch, Fife, Scotland, with heat and electricity from a new 50 MW biomass-fuelled cogeneration plant. The plant will replace the existing coal-fired power plant at Tullis Russell.

The biomass project has been managed by npower Cogen’s development team, working closely with colleagues from across the RWE Group. Around 400,000 tonnes of virgin and used wood from a wide range of sources will be used to power the plant, with contracts being put in place with local and national companies for the supply of biomass.

Paul Cowling, managing director of RWE npower renewables said: ‘Our parent company RWE Innogy will invest around £200 million ($326 million) in the biomass facility and we are also delighted to secure an additional £8.1 million ($13.2 million) support from the Scottish government for the project. The plant will reduce annual carbon emissions by 250,000 tonnes and generate 6% of Scotland’s renewable generation targets.’

Construction work has begun and the power plant is scheduled to enter operation in 2012. In addition to this project, RWE npower renewables is developing plans for a similar biomass plant in Lincolnshire, England, with an installed capacity of 73 MW.

Chicken waste biogas-to-energy plant for China

Jenbacher biogas engines from GE Energy have begun powering China’s largest chicken waste biogas-to-energy plant located at the Minhe Animal Husbandry facility near Penglai City in Shandong Province. The 3 MW plant features three of GE’s JMS320 Jenbacher engines, which generate electricity for both the complex and for export to the local grid.

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A biogas-to-energy plant in Shandong Province, China




The new biogas plant features an anaerobic digester system that consumes 300 tonnes of manure and 500 tonnes of wastewater daily. The resulting digester biogas is delivered to the engines to generate electricity. Residual material in the digester can later be used as fertilizer.

Jenbacher engines can help farm customers overcome the operational and environmental impacts of their operations. By consuming the waste in the digester to create biogas electricity, the technology can greatly reduce the site’s greenhouse gas emissions and dust created by the chicken waste, which in turn helps improve regional air and water quality.

The use of chicken waste digester biogas to generate on-site power also supports China’s national economic goals to promote the use of renewable, distributed energy technologies to improve local reliability and reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions, says GE. Backed by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the project receives financial support through the sale of carbon credits called Certified Emission Reductions (CERs).

‘On-site utility’ cuts costs at US care home

American DG Energy has announced an agreement to supply energy to Carleton-Willard Village, a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) located in Bedford, Massachusetts, US. Under the agreement, Carleton-Willard will receive a sizable portion of its energy from an ‘on-site utility’ CHP system, to be owned and operated by American DG.

The CCRC will receive a discount on the energy produced and reduce its carbon footprint by up to 660 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The value of the deal is $2.2 million.

American DG will produce electricity, and energy for space heating and hot water, at Carleton-Willard’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center building and sell it to Carleton-Willard at a price lower than the local energy utility. Carleton-Willard will avoid all capital, installation and operating costs. The energy will be produced with small-scale CHP system rated at 150 kW. Since the company will also handle all service, maintenance and repair, Carleton-Willard will not need any manpower to support the equipment.

Floating power barge for Papua New Guinea gold mine

Finland-based supplier of flexible power plants for decentralized power generation, Wärtsilä, has been contracted to supply a barge-mounted power plant to serve a mining operation in Papua New Guinea.

The customer is global gold company Lihir Gold and the power plant will provide electricity to its Lihir Island gold mine from April 2011. The contract is valued at €57 million ($85 million).

The barge-mounted plant will be based on Wärtsilä 20V32 engines operating on heavy fuel oil. Since the plant is planned as being an interim solution to the company’s power needs for the site, it was decided to mount the power plant on a barge so that it can be later moved to another location when no longer needed at Lihir Island.

Extra electrical power is needed at the mine because Lihir Gold is in the process of extending the facilities. Wärtsilä has supplied barge-mounted power plants before, including some 20 power barges to the Philippines, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Bangladesh.

UK pharmaceuticals company gets CHP plant

Dalkia is helping to bring energy cost savings and environmental improvement to the UK pharmaceuticals company, Sanofi Aventis, thanks to the installation of a small-scale CHP plant at its Holmes Chapel, Cheshire, manufacturing site. The system has the capacity to save up to 650 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year for the company.

Delivered via Dalkia’s specialist small-scale CHP subsidiary, Cogenco, the plant was chosen for its ability to provide an economic method of on-site energy generation, including abundant heat, to the manufacturing plant. The 725 kWe CHP unit, which generates both heat and electrical energy via a waste heat boiler, was installed to help keep energy costs down and contribute to reducing the organization’s carbon emissions.

The use of CHP technology has a further advantage in the exemption of the Holmes Chapel site from the Climate Change Levy. Equally, the way in which heat and power are generated means the site is now less susceptible to electricity price fluctuations, providing further potential cost savings, says Dalkia.

Scottish ethylene plant cuts emissions

Emissions and fuel gas consumption will be cut dramatically at ExxonMobil’s Fife Ethylene Plant in Scotland, following the completion of a two-year project to link one more furnace at the site to a gas turbine that drives the plant’s main compressor. Until recently, only six of the seven furnaces have been heated with the help of exhaust gases from the turbine.

Using exhaust gases provides multiple benefits. It enables the recovery of heat from the turbine exhaust gases that might otherwise be lost, it cuts emissions and it reduces the amount of fuel gas the plant consumes by around 2000 tonnes per furnace per year, says ExxonMobil.

The link to the seventh furnace was timed to coincide with a planned shutdown for maintenance work.

Cogeneration systems to power London Olympic Park energy centres

GE Energy has been awarded the contract to supply its Jenbacher engine-based cogeneration technology to power two natural gas- and biomass-fuelled energy centres being built for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The centres, located in the Olympic Park and Stratford City development, will provide power, heating and cooling systems for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as well as new buildings and communities that will develop after 2012.

The 10 MW project is a cornerstone of London 2012’s goals to increase the use of alternative energy, water conservation and recycling strategies to minimize the environmental impact of the Games.

The first energy centre, featuring two of GE Energy’s Jenbacher 3.3 MW natural gas cogeneration modules, is being built in the Stratford City development area and will support Olympic Park activities, as well as commercial redevelopment initiatives in East London.

The second plant, at Kings Yard on the western end of Olympic Park, will be fitted with one 3.3 MW GE Energy Jenbacher cogeneration module to help generate needed thermal power for the Aquatics Centre swimming pools and other venues via the Olympic Park’s district heating network. The plant also will generate electrical and thermal power for sporting venues, homes and other buildings in the area.

Both energy facilities will include boilers that use natural gas as feedstock to generate additional heat to meet peak demands. The Kings Yard facility also includes a boiler that can utilize wood chip biomass to generate heat to help meet the base demand.

After the Games end, the energy centres at Kings Yard and Stratford City will be used to support future commercial development in East London for another 40 years.

Wind turbines for pulp mills in Sweden

Sweden’s giant wood pulp producer, Södra, has decided to invest in five to six wind turbines to be installed to provide power at Södra Cell’s Mönsterås pulp mill. Permission to build the turbines has been granted and the planning process has started – electricity production is expected to start in the third quarter of 2010.

The turbines are part of a major planned wind power development. Preliminary plans are also being drawn up for wind turbines at Södra Cell Mörrum and Värö pulp mills.

In addition, Södra has finalized an agreement covering at least 300 wind power plants in southern Sweden . It is investing in an annual power production of 1.6 TWh with Norwegian energy producer Statkraft through their jointly-owned company Södra Vindkraft.

The agreement paves the way for the expansion of a significant number of wind farms in southern Sweden.




California extends self-generation support programme

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has signed legislation that extends the states’ Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) until 2015, which provides funds for a predetermined set of clean power technologies, including fuel cells, which generate electricity on-site. Manufacturer FuelCell Energy reports that the move extends the availability of incentives for clean energy technologies, including the company’s stationary fuel cell power plants.

Approximately 15 MW of FuelCell Energy’s Direct FuelCell power plants in California have received support since the programme’s inception in 2001, says the company, with more than 9 MW of these systems using renewable biogas as their fuel.

The SGIP was created in 2001 to encourage on-site production of electricity with generation technologies that help reduce greenhouse gases while also relieving demand on the state’s utility grid. The programme is administered by California’s investor-owned utilities – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company and the California Center for Sustainable Energy. With over 1400 separate projects and $750 million in incentives paid to participants, the programme continues to be the largest distributed generation initiative in the nation.

 Chinese steel producer to burn COG in gas turbines

China’s Henan Liyuan Coking Co has ordered two LM2500+ aeroderivative gas turbines from GE Energy to burn 100% coke oven gas (COG) at the steel works. The plant, located in Anyang, Henan, will use the turbines, with a standard annular combustor and water injection for NOx control, to produce electricity in a cogeneration facility.

The turbines will help the Liyuan coking plant reduce emissions and convert low-BTU ‘waste’ gas to power efficiently. This project, GE Energy’s first COG order, will not only meet Liyuan’s self-power demand, but also will feed the power to the public grids.

Heating coal to extreme temperatures creates coke, a vital ingredient in the manufacturing of steel alloys. During the coking process, COG is typically vented to the atmosphere as waste. However, with the right technology, these gases can be utilized in a gas turbine for power generation.

Using the gas turbines to utilize COG will improve environmental conditions of the Liyuan plant substantially; over 430,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be eliminated, while NOx emissions will be reduced to less than 39 ppm, says GE.

The first unit will be delivered by July 2010, with the second to follow a month later. Commercial operation for the first unit is planned for the fourth quarter of 2010.

 Fuel cell and on-site wind for UK environmental centre

UK-based UPS Systems has completed a fuel cell installation for the new Environmental Energy Technology Centre (EETC) being built in Rotherham, south Yorkshire. The building will also include an on-site wind turbine. UPS Systems has installed three 12 kW Hydrogenics fuel cells into the hydrogen mini-grid system (HMGS), along with nine inverters, three 168 Ahr batteries and supervisory software to control the system. Both the fuel cells and batteries have been mounted in matching racks to reduce the space they occupy.

The HMGS has been developed by energy consultancy TNEI Services and hydrogen specialists the Pure Energy Centre and is designed to produce and store ‘green’ hydrogen energy generated by a 225 kW on-site wind turbine to power the EETC and make it self-sufficient in energy. The EETC is due to open in early 2010. Once complete its goal is to encourage the development and commercialization of environmental energy technologies.

 Eastern Europe Identifies Potential for Growth in Cogeneration

Eastern Europe already generates around 17% of its electricity needs from cogeneration – well ahead of the European average – and considerable potential for expansion remains, particularly in district heating schemes not yet equipped with cogeneration technology. So concluded a meeting hosted by Poland’s CHP support organization, KOGEN Polska, and attended by representatives from countries across Eastern Europe, held in Warsaw.

The meeting heard how the existing infrastructure for district heating in several Member States offers a particularly good opportunity for modern cogeneration. The large infrastructural investment in district heating networks is a valuable asset to optimize the energy efficiency of electricity supply. By incorporating cogeneration in existing, but heat-only, district heating schemes, at least 10% of the related primary energy can be saved, according to COGEN Europe. In Poland alone, the opportunity to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through the wider use of cogeneration is huge.

Industry remains a second significant area for potential expansion of cogeneration. While industry in Hungary is already a substantial user of cogeneration, the use of cogeneration in industry in Poland and Slovenia should be more widely encouraged.