Report bodes well for combined heat and power


Combined heat and power and carbon capture and storage technologies will help push the generation of the global thermal power market to 19,869.1 TWh by 2020, according to new data.

A report from research and consulting firm GlobalData states that the past few years have seen “heavier investment into research and development to improve fossil fuel technologies that can generate power at a higher capacity factor, whilst displaying a minimal impact on the environment”.

It adds that the fact that energy efficiency and security now form the foundations of many countries’ power policies is also a major contributing factor behind these investments.

“CCS has been deemed one of the most efficient technologies for reducing carbon dioxide emissions while maintaining the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation,” says the report. “Similarly, CHP provides an efficient and clean approach to generating electricity, and useful thermal energy, from one fuel.”

Sayani Roy, GlobalData’s power analyst, said: “These two technologies are in high demand among countries where electricity is mainly generated from thermal resources, and the governments of major economies have been focusing substantially on the mandatory adoption of such technologies to help reduce emissions from their respective power sectors.”

She highlighted the situation in the US, where the government has rolled out various acts and policies which make the adoption of CCS and CHP technologies obligatory, while also supporting power facilities financially in adopting it.

She added that countries such as India, China, the UK and Germany have also been taking significant steps towards the adoption of these technologies in order to reduce local emissions.

Japan’s new power sources ” to include CHP?

Country Scorecard: Japan, published under the International Energy Agency's CHP/DHC 'Collaborative'

It’s not often that the decentralized energy spotlight shines on Japan. Yet, with the ‘fallout’ from 2011’s earthquake, tsunami and destruction of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant still in the air, there is much interest in how the country will realign its energy and electricity policies.

The greater use of gas to generate power in thermal plants has been the short-term answer, with the resulting increased imports of expensive natural gas. Could cogeneration also benefit?

CHP’s current status is healthy. Japan has nearly 10 GWe of CHP generating capacity in place, four-fifths of this in the industrial sector and the rest serving commercial buildings and, through micro-CHP technology, homes. After strong capacity growth in the 1990s and until 2008, growth then almost halted until last year, when 400 MW of new plants were added.

All this according to a new report on the status of and prospects for CHP and district heating and cooling (DHC): Country Scorecard: Japan, published under the International Energy Agency’s CHP/DHC ‘Collaborative’.

CHP’s prospects are less certain ” it’s hard to say whether the growth in capacity in 2012 represents the start of a new, post-Fukushima upward trend. But there is considerable room for optimism, says the IEA. It suggests that the market for CHP may develop around three main opportunities: possible new policy incentives for CHP following the tsunami; continued support from the government and Japan’s gas industry for micro-CHP; and a growing role for flexible CHP systems to work within smart energy networks.

Ikea installs rooftop solar in Spain

Ikea solar Spain

Swedish furniture retailer Ikea continues its drive to power its stores with on-site renewables with a new rooftop solar installation in Spain.

The 480 solar panels on the roof of Ikea’s store in Sabadell, Barcelona produce around 158,000 kWh per year, which the store consumes on-site.

Ikea has installed rooftop solar on five of its Spanish stores this year, using solar panels from REC, the largest European solar panel supplier. REC says its Spanish installations for Ikea generate around 12,000 kWh per year.

The new solar installations are part of the “Ikea renewable” project, launched in 2007 and designed to ensure that each Ikea store generates enough power from renewable sources to cover its own demand. Since its launch, the project has reduced Ikea’s power bill by almost €2 million per year, and achieved energy savings of 11,795 MWh, the company says.

Ikea’s latest investment in on-site solar power comes at a time when Spain’s solar market is in disarray following retroactive feed-in tariff cuts and a profits cap for renewable energy producers. ‘Against this backdrop, projects such as Ikea’s offer a promising vein of opportunity to the solar industry,’ REC said.

TransCanada cogeneration plant gets GE boost

TransCanada cogeneration plant

TransCanada’s Mackay River industrial cogeneration facility in Alberta has increased its output capacity by 10 per cent and boosted its fuel efficiency by more than 2 percent after hardware and software upgrades from GE.

Commissioned in 2004, the plant features a combustion turbine generator and heat recovery steam generator which produce 165 MW along with 720 tonnes of steam per hour. The plant supplies power to PetroCanada’s Mackay River enchanced oil recovery (EOR) bitumen extraction facility.

GE’s upgrades were installed on one natural gas-fired combustion turbine at the plant, reducing emissions by around 1600 tonnes of NOx per year. TransCanada now expects three additional power generating days per year for the plant, which operates nearly 24 hours per day. The company also expects reduced maintenance outages.

Because the bitumen extraction facility uses large quantities of steam, the plant includes one of the world’s largest EOR heat recovery steam generators.

Swedish district heating plant orders flue gas condenser

Falkenberg district heating plant

Falkenberg district heating plant in Sweden has ordered an SRE flue gas condenser.

The plant, which is run on biomass, will see the installation of the equipment performed by Opcon AB.

SRE’s flue gas condenser efficiently captures waste heat in smokestack gases and recycles the energy to the district heating grid. The flue gas condenser, that adds some 1.7 MW to the system, increases energy efficiency by up to 20-25 per cent depending on fuel, thereby helping Falkenberg Energi to reduce its fuel consumption and lower emissions considerably.

The condenser will be installed at the facility’s 8 MW boiler in Falkenberg. Order value amounts to around US$780,000 and the delivery is expected at the beginning of 2014.

Al Gore’s new HQ powered by fuel cell CHP

Al Gore

Former US vice president Al Gore’s new London, England headquarters is to be powered by fuel cell combined heat and power technology.

The fuel cell has already been installed at the Crown Estate development on Regent Street in central London, where Generation Investment Management, Mr Gore’s sustainable investment company, is sited.

The cost of the new system, the first of its kind to be installed in the UK, has not been revealed.

The cell was developed by US company FuelCell Energy and will emit 38 per cent less carbon dioxide than using electricity from the grid and heat from gas-fired boilers, according to the Crown Estate, which says 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be saved per year.

The new plant forms part of the central energy system which serves 46,452 m2 of offices, shops, flats, restaurants and hotels in the Quadrant development.

Latin American breakthrough for biomass application

San Juan de Olivos olive facility in Argentina

The San Juan de Olivos olive facility in Argentina is expecting to make significant savings from the installation of a biomass gen-set.

Dresser-Rand installed the first Guascor gen-set for a biomass application in Latin America at the San Juan olive harvesting and olive oil production facility.

The technology will power the plant’s operation as well as potentially provide surplus power for the San Juan area and is forecast to save the firm up to US$600,000 in electricity costs every year.

Dresser-Rand worked on the project with LatAm Bioenergy Group, a New York-based engineering, procurement and construction company, focused on the sustainable development of renewable energy solutions in Latin American countries.

The ‘green’ power project will use a Guascor SFGLD360 containerized CHP unit to gasify the facility’s biomass to produce syngas. The syngas will power San Juan de Olivos’s production facility. The biomass employed in this project will be the waste wood collected by pruning the olive trees, and the extracted olive mash and pits discarded during oil production.

The process is expected to yield roughly 250-300 kWe each day ” covering all of the facility’s energy demands. San Juan de Los Olivos is also in the process of acquiring a license that will allow the facility to generate surplus electricity that can be exported to the Energàƒ­a San Juan power grid.

Fortum sells Kuusamo plant as part of efficiency strategy

Fortum cogeneration plant at Kuusamo, Finland

Fortum has sold its cogeneration plant at Kuusamo, Finland to district heating specialist Adven Oy for an undisclosed price, as the company seeks to drive through its efficiency programme.

The programme, which began a year ago, sees Fortum concentrating its combined heat and power production to larger centres and units.

The production capacity of the Kuusamo plant is 6 MW electricity and 19 MW district heat. The Kuusamo energy and water cooperative has been responsible for operating the Fortum-owned plant.

Kiev residents facing chill

Half the residents of Kiev, Ukraine are in danger of being left without heat as winter approaches after the city’s electricity operator ordered gas pressure to be cut to combined heat and power plants.

Interfax Ukraine reports that over 7000 Kiev heat consumers (including houses and social sphere facilities) could be left without heating and hot water supplies in the coming first autumn frosts after Kyivtransgaz cut gas pressure to combined heat and power plant five and combined heat and power plant six.

The gas pressure is reported to have been reduced as Kyivenergo owed US$256m (UAH 2.1 billion) to Naftogaz Ukrainy for gas consumed. The action has been a frequent occurrence in the winter months for the city.

At the moment Kyivenergo supplies heat to only 17.6% of residential buildings, 93% of kindergartens, 48% of schools and 82% of hospitals, as a result of the action.

Alstom wins CHP contracts

Alstom has won US$231 million worth of contracts to service power plants in North America, two of which are cogeneration power plants.

The two CHP contracts are located in Ontario and Alberta, Canada, respectively.

Alstom was chosen to execute a LTSA contract with TransAlta Corp. (TAC) in Canada for their Sarnia cogeneration power plant in Ontario and Poplar Creek Cogeneration power plant in Alberta.

Both TransAlta plants operate Alstom built GT11N2 gas turbines.

The parts agreement will be progressively booked throughout the execution of the contract.

Fuel Cell CHP Plant Delivered to German Ministry

Fuel Cell CHP Plant

Fuel cell power plant provider FuelCell Energy Solutions (FCES) has announced delivery of a combined heat and power plant to the German education and research ministry’s Berlin office complex, which is currently under construction.

FCES will install the power plant inside the office complex and commissioning is expected in mid-2014.

Generating 250 kW, the plant will supply 40 per cent of the office building’s electricity needs and 20 per cent of its thermal needs. Heat from the plant will be used to generate steam for facility heating and absorption chilling.

The company says its technology is fuel-neutral and can use natural gas, renewable biogas, directed biogas and other fuels such as propane. The Berlin power plant will be fueled with natural gas.

Founded in 2012, FCES is a joint venture of Fraunhofer IKTS and US-based FuelCell Energy Inc. It is headquartered in Dresden and has opened a manufacturing facility in Ottobrun.

On-site power delivers a jolt to US utilities

Wal-Mart Stores

Which companies generate the most power from on-site renewable resources in the US? In absolute terms, some very large entities indeed ” Wal-Mart Stores, the US Department of Energy, Apple, BMW Manufacturing and Coca-Cola Refreshments ” take the first five places in a league table drawn up by the US Environmental Protection Agency from companies within its Green Power Partnership. Wal-Mart stores generate more than 100 GWh per year from biogas, solar and wind power installations, while Coca-Cola generates nearly half of that, from biogas-to-power plants. But Wal-Mart’s on-site generation represents just 1% of its total power needs; Coca-Cola generates just 6%.

Higher proportions of total power use are to be found further down the table. In fourteenth place lies the mainly agricultural County of Yolo, in Northern California, which generates 1.5 times its own electricity requirements from a series of solar power plants totalling 7 MW of capacity. And, in 19th place, the Encina Wastewater Authority in Southern California generates more than two thirds of its electricity requirements from its own waste biogases.

The EPA has recently honoured Apple; the County of Santa Clara in California; health care provider Kaiser Permanente and the Chattanooga, Tennessee car assembly plant operated by Volkswagen Group of America for their use of on-site power generation. Apple uses a combination of large solar PV arrays and biogas-to-power plants to supply 16% of the electricity requirements of its US data centres and other facilities. The County of Santa Clara, Kaiser Permanente and Volkswagen Chattanooga all rely on PV to supply towards 10% of their electricity needs.

The EPA list ignores those public and private sector organisations that use gas-fired on-site CHP schemes, preferring to highlight the role played by on-site renewables. Put both of these generation sources together, though, and a picture emerges of US businesses staring to see the sense of on-site energy generation as a way to cut energy costs and insulate against supply interruptions.

Separate from the EPA Green Power Partnership, a recent Wall Street Journal report describes on-site wind and biogas schemes for a dairy in Pennsylvania and a food distribution centre in California. Meanwhile, home furnishings retailer Ikea plans to incorporate geothermal technology into the heating and cooling systems of the store it is building outside Kansas City. The company says it either owns or operates more than 130 wind turbines and has installed more than 30,000 solar panels for its European operations.

Vaskiluodon Voima CHP plant in line for Metso retrofit

Vaskiluodon Voima CHP plant

Finnish power producer Vaskiluodon Voima has agreed with Metso on an extensive automation retrofit for a combined heat and power plant in Seinàƒ¤joki, Finland, replacing the automation system the plant has used since 1989.

Metso will install its DNA automation system as well as new automation for the fuel reception, water plant, auxiliary boiler and ash handling. It will also provide an update to the reporting system, an emission monitoring application in line with Europe’s 2010 Industrial Emission Directive, and new combustion control methods.

Metso expects to complete the work by August 2014.

The Seinàƒ¤joki power plant supplies local electricity and district heat with a boiler capacity (steam capacity) of 299 MW, turbine electrical capacity of 125 MW and district heat capacity of 100 MW.

The plant’s primary fuels are wood chips and peat, with coal used as a backup fuel.

EIB promotes use of CHP in Russia

European Investment Bank

The Primorye region on the east coast of Russia is to benefit from a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan, which is set to improve its energy capacity.

EIB is lending US$135 billion (RUB 4 billion) to support the modernisation of power and heat generation technology in Vladivostok, the regional capital. It will enable electricity to be generated to facilitated 50,000 apartments and heat more than 600 family homes.

The project is part of a larger programme to bring natural gas to Russia’s Far East, enabling a switch from coal to natural gas as the primary energy source and reducing CO2 emissions.

The loan ” the first ever to be extended by the EIB in Russian roubles ” will finance the installation of three new state-of-the-art combined heat and power gas turbine units, which will increase electricity and heat production and bring environmental and energy efficiency performance into line with best practice.

‘This loan will contribute to climate change mitigation, which is a key priority for the European Union and therefore also one of the key operational priorities of the EIB,’ said Wilhelm Molterer, EIB vice president responsible for lending operations in Russia, adding that the project also contributes to the implementation of the EU”Russia Partnership for Modernisation.

The operation is being carried out under the EIB’s Climate Change Mandate for non-EU countries introduced in 2011 and is being co-financed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Each of the three new units will consist of a 46.5 MW high-efficiency gas turbine and an associated 40 Gcal/h heat-recovery hot water generator. This will help to cover the heat base-load throughout the year in Vladivostok and supply electricity to the region.

The project also includes the installation of three heat-only boilers (100 Gcal/h each) to cover winter/peak loads and replace the old heat-only boilers currently being used.

English cogen specialist recognised for industry leadership


ENER-G has been recognised as a global leader in combined heat and power technology, after being shortlisted for the Manufacturer and Engineer of the Year Award in the Insider North West International Trade Awards, which will be announced in December.

The nominations, which recognise business achievement in the northwest of England, comes after the company’s success in the prestigious COGEN Europe 20th anniversary awards for exceptional contribution to the European CHP sector.

ENER-G was the only UK company recognised, receiving the Market Development Award for its international role in the advancement of cogeneration.

The company designs, manufactures, installs, finances and maintains cogeneration systems from small-scale 4 kWe to large industrial 10 MWe modular installations “fuelled by natural gas, biogas, propane, biodiesel or pure plant oil (PPO).

A European market leader in CHP, the company has 30 million hours of cogeneration operating experience and 695 MW of generation capacity, which has offset 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.

Major clients include GlaxoSmithKline and David Lloyd Leisure and the company has worked throughout Europe and most recently begun implementing projects in the US.

ENER-G pioneered the pay-as-you-save Discount Energy Purchase scheme in the 1990s. This gives cash-strapped organisations access to CHP technology and associated energy efficient solutions, without any up-front investment.

University of California cogeneration plant gets its power back

University of California cogeneration plant

Power has been restored to the University of California at Berkeley’s cogeneration plant, which had been without power since an explosion damaged the campus’s underground power lines on 30 September.

The university’s public affairs office said an investigation will be launched into the cause of the explosion.

The cogeneration plant uses a natural gas-fired GE LM2500 turbine generator to produce 25 MW of electrical power and 4 MWth of steam, which is distributed through underground tunnels to heat campus buildings. The plant is operated by GE and has been online since 1987, with an upgrade in 1998.

On-site power and heat are common on the University of California’s 10 campuses — such as UC Irvine’s 18 MW cogeneration plant which uses a combustion turbine and heat recovery steam generator with a chiller addition. And UC San Diego’s combined heat and power facility, which features two 13.5 MW gas turbine generators, is part of a campus smart microgrid system that incorporates photovoltaic solar panels and fuel cells and meets over 90 percent of the campus’s power needs.

E.ON to supply CHP for Russian industrial parks

E.ON and DEGA Group

E.ON and DEGA Group, a real estate developer in the Russian Federation, have entered into a long-term partnership agreement to build and operate on-site power generation facilities for DEGA’s Russian industrial parks.

DEGA already supplies business tenants on its Industrial Park Noginsk, 48 km east of Moscow, with electricity and heat from two 15 MW gas turbine combined heat and power units. E.ON will now acquire a majority of the DEGA subsidiary that owns and operates these CHP units, and will have exclusive access to DEGA’s pipeline of Russian industrial parks.

E.ON says it is expanding its distributed energy activities in Russia, with a focus on services and light industries. The DEGA partnership was signed with E.ON Connecting Energies, a new international unit of E.ON SE focusing on energy efficiency and on-site generation solutions for businesses and the public sector.

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