SOLAR COGENERATION FACILITY FOR FACEBOOK
Cogenra is to build a solar cogeneration system at social networking company Facebook’s new headquarters in Menlo Park, California.
With dual energy production of heat and power, the installation will be a rooftop feature of Facebook’s renovated fitness centre. Returns are expected in less than five years and Facebook’s solar cogeneration will be far more powerful than traditional PV panels. In addition to on-site electricity production, the solar cogen system will displace more than 60% of the building’s natural gas needs.
Facebook also plans to build a new data centre in Sweden, a location it picked because of the climate and its access to hydroelectric power.
The centre will be sited to be close to a source of hydroelectric power in Lulea, a town on the edge of the Arctic Circle, where the chilly climate will help keep servers at optimal temperature without the use of powered cooling systems. The facility will use 120 MW of energy per year and will operate using 100% renewables.
Japan sets new gas-fired cogeneration target
The Japan Gas Association has announced plans to rapidly increase the number of cogeneration units in the country powered by natural gas. Mitsunori Torihara, the association’s chairman, said cogeneration units could meet 10–20% of Japan’s power demand, which would involve generating 30 GW by 2030, up from 4.6 GW currently.
Japan is already the world’s largest liquefied natural gas (LNG) importer and the move would require raising imports by 74% – an increase toabout 40 million tonnes of LNG a year, up from 23 million tonnes imported in the year to March 2011.
The announcement comes as utilities struggle to ensure stable supplies ahead of the winter demand peak, after safety fears in the wake of the Fukushima crisis put nuclear capacity offline. To meet fast-rising Japanese demand, LNG cargoes have been re-exported to Japan from Spain and the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in recent weeks.
CHP helps US skyscraper win second green award
San Francisco’s landmark Transamerica Pyramid building has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification, largely thanks to its new cogeneration plant.
The US Green Building Council awarded the 48-storey building LEED Gold status in 2009. Since then the Transamerica Pyramid LEED team has boosted efficiency and cut waste.
The building features a US$3.4 million 1.1 MW on-site CHP plant that produces an average of 70% of the building’s electricity and 100% of heating and domestic hot water needs.
CHP will drive global stationary fuel cell market
The ongoing increase in demand for stationary fuel cells will continue to increase, largely due to applications in CHP both for residential and commercial buildings, according to analysis by Pike Research. Early centres of stationary fuel cell adoption include Japan, Germany, and Denmark, particularly for residential CHP applications, while South Korean, US and UK markets look set for a period of rapid growth, concluded Pike.
Development in the sector can also be rapid. In Japan, the Ene-Farm programme, which aims to promote widespread adoption of residential CHP modules, resulted in the shipment of 6000 units by 2009.
But the report sounds a note of caution. While such growth in the midst of a global recession is impressive, the report sees market and technology barriers. According to Pike, raising the profile of stationary fuel cells is a key priority for the industry, as are standardizing the technology and reducing the capital expense of manufacturing and purchasing the units.
While more than 60 companies have active development programmes, only a handful of these are actively shipping commercial units, with just five companies representing more than three quarters of all unit shipments in the global market.
Greenvironment in Poland microturbine deal
CHP specialist Greenvironment is to install microturbines for a 113 MWth district heating scheme in Poland’s Kolobrzeg region for local utility MEC Kolobrzeg.
Greenvironment, which specializes in the use of microturbine technology in electricity generation from biogas and natural gas, is planning to put to put a 200 kWe C200 microturbine into operation as a pilot plant in spring 2012.
Sebastian Hampel, managing director of Greenvironment Poland, said: ‘In the Baltic Sea area, there is a big potential for small microturbine CHP units because those are ideally suited for more than 100 four- and five-star Baltic Sea hotels with high baseload need throughout the year.’
Salix loan funds CHP system at UK hospital
Britain’s Yeovil District Hospital in Somerset, has installed a CHP system as part of an energy saving and carbon reduction programme after making a successful bid for funding via an interest-free loan from the Salix Energy Fund.
The hospital says the system will save in excess of 650 tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide and £112,000 (US$181,000) each year on energy costs, which will enable it to repay the loan in four years or less.
Once the loan has been repaid, the hospital will then keep the ongoing savings delivered by the system.
Salix is an independent company funded by the UK’s Carbon Trust to help improve energy efficiency in public sector buildings. The Salix fund is an interest-free loan fund made up of 50% finance from the Carbon Trust and 50% from the participating organization.
Through a mixture of loans and grants, the fund claims to have engaged with about 725 public sector bodies and to have funded 8400 projects, valued at £178 million, which it estimates will save the public sector £53 million annually and £700 million over the projects’ lifetimes.
American DG Energy has started operating a 375 kW CHP system at Doral Arrowwood Hotel and Conference Center in Rye Brook, New York.
American DG strikes CHP deal with New York hotel
American DG Energy produces energy in the form of electricity, space heat, domestic hot water and pool heat at Doral Arrowwood and sells it to the resort at a price lower than the local energy utility. Doral pays only for the energy used and avoids all capital, installation and operating costs.
The energy is produced with small-scale CHP equipment, including three 100 kW units providing energy for the hotel and one 75 kW unit providing energy to the Pfizer training centre. The CHP equipment is located at the resort, but owned and operated by American DG Energy.
Californian legislation to benefit CHP newcomer
Leva Energy, a Californian cleantech start-up that can convert boilers into efficient CHP systems, is seeking to benefit from new regulations to be introduced in California that require operators to upgrade their boilers so they emit less nitrogen oxides (NOx).
From next January, operators of gas-fired boilers and steam generators in the counties within the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) will have to meet new clean air certification requirements. Leva Energy plans to retrofit existing boilers with its power burner to generate cleaner and cheaper electricity that Leva claims will normally pay for itself within two years.
‘Most business owners believe their only options for lowering NOx are to spend money on new, ultra-low NOx burners that offer no payback or to buy expensive selective catalytic reduction systems,’ said Franco Castaldini, president and co-founder of Leva Energy. ‘In fact, these options often sacrifice energy efficiency or add operating costs in order to achieve lower NOx. You can upgrade your existing boiler to meet ultra-low NOx regulations and simultaneously generate clean electrical power that quickly pays you back for your low-NOx investment.’
The California Legislature created the BAAQMD in 1955 as the first regional air pollution control agency in the United States, recognizing that air emissions overflow political boundaries. The nine counties that make up the San Francisco Bay Area form a regional air basin, sharing common geographical features and weather patterns, and therefore similar air pollution burdens.
Eastern Connecticut opts for CHP fuel cell
Eastern Connecticut State University is to have a combined heat and power fuel cell up-and-running by April 2012.
The university has signed a deal with the UTC Power Corporation for a PureCell Model 400 kW Class I CHP fuel cell that will power Eastern’s science building, with waste heat from the cell used to warm the building. Data from the fuel cell will also be used in the classroom.
Eastern has been making strides towards greater energy efficiency for several years now and the US Green Building Council has named it one of its Green Colleges for 2011.
Since 1990, the university has used a computerized system to monitor energy usage in each room of every floor of 25 of the campus’ buildings. In 2001, the Institute for Sustainable Energy opened, with a focus on outreach and education for all things green energy. Four years ago, the university began recommissioning all of its buildings, examining them from an energy-efficiency standpoint and making renovations.
Caterpillar completes MWM takeover
Construction and mining equipment maker Caterpillar has completed a €580 million ($800 million) deal to buy German engine supplier MWM from private equity and venture capital 3i Group.
The move comes after the European Commission gave the green light for the deal last month after seeing no need to block it on competition grounds.
MWM supplies sustainable, natural gas and alternative fuel engines. It also makes reciprocating engine generator sets used for decentralized electricity production and is well-known for its waste-to-energy gensets
Caterpillar says the acquisition of MWM will enable it to expand customer options for sustainable power generation solutions.
Russia’s IES to sell Kachkanarsk CHP plant to end-user
Integrated Energy Systems (IES), part of Viktor Vekselberg’s Renova Group, plans to sell the Kachkanarsk CHP plant in Sverdlovsk, Russia, to Evraz KGOK by the end of the year. The sale of the CHP has been under consideration for a long time, according to Russian media.
Evraz KGOK, which is one of Russia’s top ore mining enterprises, is the sole consumer of Kachkanarsk CHP’s electricity.
Kachkanarsk’s installed capacity is 50 MW, with the station located at Evraz KGOK’s production complex. Evraz KGOK says it plans to look into refurbishing the CHP plant to boost its production capacity.
Cogenco unit helps university cut carbon emissions
Cogenco, a subsidiary of Dalkia, has designed and installed a 1.4 MWe CHP unit for the University of Bradford, located in the north of England. The unit will ensure the university campus can save more that £8 million (US$13 million) over a 20-year period, while helping it meet its carbon reduction targets, says Cogenco.
The company claims its CHP technology is more efficient and sustainable than conventional boilers, which ties in with the university’s ‘Ecoversity plan’ to boost sustainable development across the campus in order to half its carbon emissions by 2020.
Russell Smith, University of Bradford’s estates manager for engineering and building, commented, ‘Since the [CHP plant] has been operational there have already been periods when it has supplied all of the university’s electricity and therefore reduced the dependency on the grid.’
Cogenco says that a CHP system it has already set up at the UK’s University of Warwick has cut the institution’s consumption of primary energy by 30% to save £300,000 per year.
Chicago microbrewery opts for CHP system
Chicago-based vertical farm and food business incubator The Plant has received a US$1.5 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) that will be used to install an anaerobic digester and CHP system capable of producing 380 kW of electricity and 2.1 million Btu/h (614 kW) of thermal energy at the New Chicago Brewing Company.
The process will enable the brewer to achieve energy independence through brewery waste that would otherwise be landfilled. Vertical farming is a concept that uses vertically inclined surfaces or skyscrapers in cultivation, instead of traditional land.The $3 million project should be completed by June 2013, supported in part by the DCEO funds.
UK prepares ground for island biomass CHP plant
Developer Real Ventures is pushing ahead with plans to build a £130 million (US$207 million) biomass-fuelled CHP plant on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England.
The Reality Energy Centre is to be located on an old 8.7-hectare council landfill site in Newport.
Real Ventures says that with an electrical output of 49 MW, the CHP plant would provide the equivalent of 66% of all the island’s electricity if the local council gives its planning application the green light.
The company believes the privately funded CHP plant, which would burn imported wood pellets, could open as early as 2013. Real Ventures was formed by island residents who came together after opposing plans for the installation of wind turbines.
Real Ventures claims that its proposed plant’s use of high-quality fuel – 100% virgin wood fuel sourced from the UK and Europe and imported by ship – will allow for a very efficient plant design. The company has declared a target of establishing ‘the most efficient system of its type globally’.
A planning application will be submitted to the local planning authority on completion of baseline monitoring of the site’s landfill gas and leachate.
Small-medium CHP installations in Europe ‘to double by 2010’
The market for small- to medium-scale CHP schemes in Europe is likely to double, from around 1 GWe of units installed in the year 2010 to very nearly 2 GWe installed per year by 2020, according to multi-client studies carried out by decentralised energy specialist Delta Energy & Environment.
Sales in Europe are likely to be dominated by those in the top five countries – including Germany, the UK and Italy – which together account for almost 80% of the amount to be installed in 2020, says Delta-ee.
Delta-ee expects to see a steadily growing share of biogas-based systems in most countries, with some notable exceptions where it expects gas-fired systems to take a greater share. The study covers small- to medium-scale CHP in the range 400 kWe to 5 MWe.
The study looked at 18 countries in all. Growth in CHP at this scale is generally being driven by low carbon policies in many countries, together with strengthening efficiency trends and, better spark spreads.
In its latest annual micro-CHP report, Delta-ee forecasts the global market will grow by more than 30% in 2011 to reach almost €0.5 billion. PEM fuel cells and Stirling engines are the products growing fastest. For more details, visit www.delta-ee.com
Wärtsilä wins on-site order for Turkish steel plant
Turkish independent power producer Yesilyurt Enerji Elektrik Uretim has ordered a Wärtsilä power plant for its steel mill in Samsun, on the Black Sea coast.
The plant is expected to run for more than 6000 hours per year, and will feature eight 18-cylinder Wärtsilä 50SG engines running on natural gas. Output will top 145 MW, which together with a steam turbine in combined-cycle operation will enable 160 MW at full load. Surplus energy from the plant, due to operate from next October, will be sold to the grid.
Wärtsilä claims its 18-cylinder 50SG spark-ignited gas engine is the world’s largest gas-powered combustion engine genset, reaching net efficiency of more than 50% in combined-cycle mode.
Second biomass energy centre for Waitrose stores in UK
Energy services company MITIE has started work on the trigeneration biomass energy plant which will supply the Waitrose supermarket in Bracknell, UK with heat, electricity and chilled water.
The plant will reduce the store’s typical consumption of grid electricity by 69% and gas by 84% and MITIE claims it will reduce carbon emissions by more than 1000 tonnes a year.
The Bracknell plant, which will source woodchip from local sustainable woodlands, is due to be up-and-running by the end of March 2012. It will be housed in a new building next to the supermarket with the absorption chiller, dry air cooler and cooling tower located in the main store plant well. The opening is part of wider planned collaboration between MITIE and Waitrose as the supermarket chain aims to cuts its carbon emissions by 15% by 2021.
This is the second energy centre MITIE has developed for Waitrose. The first centre is at the retailer’s East Cowes store on the Isle of Wight and is due to operate from December 2011. Woodchip biomass fuel for this initial plant will be sourced from sustainable woodlands from Waitrose’s local suppliers on the island. Surplus energy will be exported to nearly 170 local homes and a medical centre in the surrounding area.
MITIE claims its biomass energy plants will make both stores carbon negative.
Casino stakes US$160 million on CHP deal
The new Revel Entertainment Casino and Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey, will be partly powered by a CHP facility developed by ACR Energy Partners. ACR will own and operate the $160 million CHP facility and sell back the energy to Revel through a long-term sales agreement. The casino is due to open during 2012.
New Jersey has recently signalled its intention to boost the use of CHP within the state. The state recently earmarked partial funding for a half-dozen clean-power projects that have been held up because of the state’s budget crisis.
The funding, available from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, will provide up to $18 million to fund at least six or seven CHP projects.
New Jersey’s energy master plan calls for the development of at least 1500 MW of CHP plants by 2020 to help meet the state’s power needs.
ACR’s deal with Revel covers an agreement for ACR to lease real estate on the casino’s premises and an agreement for the construction of the CHP facility. ACR will fully maintain and operate the facility, allowing Revel to concentrate exclusively on its core competencies.
The agreement is intended to protect Revel from uncertainty in energy markets, without its having to actually enter the business of energy development.
Boost for CHP fuel cell systems in the united states
Portland Community College (PCC) in Oregon has commissioned the first of ten CHP fuel cell systems sites that will go into operation on the West Coast of the US as part of a US$2.8 million joint industry and government award.
The Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) has given $1.4 million to Oregon-based ClearEdge Power to install 38 CHP fuel cell systems at ten West Coast businesses.
The first two 5 kW systems were installed at PCC at the end of September and the remaining 36 units will be rolled out over the next few months. PNNL will analyze the engineering, economic, and environmental performance of the systems over five years but anticipates they could cut fuel costs and carbon footprint for a commercial building by about 40%.
In June ClearEdge announced winning a $2.8 million PNNL grant to gets its technology out to the market more quickly. Targeted customers include the owners and operators of hotels, groceries, schools, medical centres and fast food restaurants.
Texas streamlines CHP laws
In a boost for CHP in Texas, a new law requires the Texas Commission for Environment Quality (TCEQ) to create air-permitting regulations for CHP plants that recognize their emission reduction benefits.
The streamlined air permitting process is expected to reduce regulatory burdens and system costs especially for small on-site systems. Currently, CHP developers must follow the same permitting requirements as large utility-scale power plants.
The new permit would effectively reward CHP systems’ net reductions in electricity use and emissions. Federal tax incentives encourage use of CHP helping reduce dependency on foreign fuels and promote growth of clean energy technology. CHP systems meet the requirements of Texas law regulating energy security for mission critical facilities and are considered a green building solution that drives emission reduction.
Fleetsolve celebrates two UK CHP projects
Sustainable power and CHP specialist Fleetsolve has completed two major projects – installing liquid biomass CHP systems for Harrogate International Conference Centre in north England and a large new Tesco superstore in Welshpool on the English/Welsh border.
The 278 kW CHP system at Harrogate will provide power and heat for a five-hall conference centre, Holiday Inn Hotel and council offices. The Tesco store has installed a 300 kW trigeneration system that provides electricity, heating and cooling for the store and exports electricity to the grid.
KOSPO prepares CHP project in Korea
The Korea Southern Power Company Limited (KOSPO), a spin-off of the Korea Electric Power Corporation, is preparing to begin work on a new combined heat and power (CHP) station in Daegu, in south-east South Korea.
KSPC is partnering with another Korean company Daegu Green Power and both companies have worked together to design and engineer the liquefied natural gas (LNG)-fired CHP plant, which is scheduled for completion in 2014.
CHP is firmly embedded in Korea, mainly due to its role alongside the country’s extensive district heating systems. The South Korean government is pushing for more CHP, planning to raise the number of plants by a third within the next ten years and KOSPO’s Daegu CHP plant is set to come on line at the same time as several others throughout the country.
Most of the CHP plants currently under development in South Korea are gas-fired, though coal is still a popular fuel choice for general power stations. District heating companies building new CHP units are also required to build renewable energy projects whether or not they are connected to those district heating projects. South Korea’s population of 49 million consists of 14.4 million households, of which 1.87 million households, or 13% of the total, use district heating.
Biogas CHP plant for Northern Ireland
A farm near Ardstraw in Northern Ireland, in the UK, is converting organic matter into biogas to provide sustainable heat and power on-site, as well as for local homes and businesses.
The 700-acre Greenhill farm biogas plant is only the second such plant in Northern Ireland. It works by ‘cooking’ animal waste from 600 cows at 40°C to produce methane gas. The gas is then piped into two engines that drive generators to produce electricity. Hot water is also produced and is used to dry the plant’s residual waste, as well to pasteurize milk.
The plant produces 430 kWh of power and, according to Alfagy, which supplied the biogas CHP plant, it has an energy efficiency of 86%. After the process of extracting methane from the manure and vegetation, farmers use the residual waste as a fertilizer to grow animal feed.
Canberra’s new energy plan targets cogen
Cogeneration is to be an important part of the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) plan to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions reductions targets are reached. The policy will promote clean energy via an investigation into the feasibility of creating energy from waste, and an assessment of distributed generation technology in upcoming major building developments.
The deployment of distributed generation options, including cogeneration, trigeneration and large-scale, low-emissions generation technologies, will also be encouraged.
To encourage the smarter use of energy, the development of secure and affordable energy, and the growth of the clean economy, the ACT Government has specified measures, including: a target for the per-capita usage of non-renewable electricity, a new energy savings initiative, and stimulus for broad-scale energy efficiency improvements of homes and small businesses across the territory.
The ACT Government earlier established a A$3 million loan fund available to its agencies to support targeted action such as CHP schemes to reduce emissions. Agencies can borrow money for projects and repay the loan with the savings.
GE in CHP link up with AB InBev in China
GE is to partner with brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev to develop energy efficiency savings at AB InBev facilities across China. The link-up will see GE initially designing energy management software solutions to assess current energy and water usage and to target improvements, according to GE.
Combined heat and power solutions using gas engines will enable several AB InBev pilot sites to create electricity via either biogas or natural gas, achieving energy efficiency levels of 70% to 90%.
AB InBev aims to cut CO2 emissions by 100,000 tonnes annually as a result of the project. In April 2010, AB InBev announced its three-year environmental performance targets and its goal to become the world’s most environmentally friendly brewer.
Sikorsky fires up chp plant in connecticut
Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation has commissioned a combined heat and power facility in Connecticut. The company says the facility will produce enough power to meet 84% of the demand of its 185,000 m2 facility in Stratford.
The new system will also provide 85% of the facility’s steam heating needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 8900 tonnes annually.
The project began more than three years ago with a $26 million capital investment by Sikorsky and a $4.7 million State Cogeneration Incentive grant.
Carrier and its Noresco business, which, like Sikorsky, are owned by United Technologies, provided design and construction consultation.