A wastewater treatment plant outside Cossato, Italy and a US government office in the southern US are among the latest facilities to have on-site CHP systems, based on microturbines from Capstone, installed. Systems at both locations were commissioned in April this year.

At Cossato, a single CR200 turbine provides all the electrical power needed at the treatment plant, along with heat to make the plant’s digesters work at optimum efficiency. Previously, a flare burned continuously above the plant, fed by biogas that had been considered a nuisance by-product of the treatment process.

The simple, elegant system likely should serve as a model for similar projects at wastewater treatment plants worldwide, says Capstone.

Meanwhile, a set of six C65 microturbines, each rated at 65 kWe, have significantly lowered the chance that hurricane winds or crippling power outages will once again shut down a key US government office in the south of the country. In the past, disasters have pummelled the office, which features a laboratory that analyzes items to ensure national security. In February 2009, Capstone installed its UPSource, an independent, IT-grade power source that doesn’t rely on the electrical utility and eliminates the need for large banks of DC-storage batteries. Even with the loss of a microturbine, the installation remains continuously running.