Fuel cell company FuelCell Energy, Inc is to supply fuel cell-based power plants to four locations in California, US.

First, a total of 4.5 MW of CHP plants will be supplied to BioFuels Fuel Cells, a California renewable energy company owned by New Energy Capital and BioFuels Energy. Three fuel cell power plants, including a 2.8 MW DFC3000, a 1.4 MW DFC1500 and a 300 kW DFC300, will be installed at three different locations in the San Diego area and will utilize purified biogas from the Point Loma wastewater treatment plant as the primary fuel source for the generation of ultra-clean electricity. The City of San Diego will convert a waste problem into a revenue stream through this directed-biogas project.

The biogas generated at the Point Loma plant represents a revenue source for the City of San Diego. The project incorporates a unique solution that purifies the biogas on site, and then injects the biogas into an existing gas pipeline to supply fuel cells at two different locations in the San Diego area. Termed ‘directed biogas,’ this project will show for the first time a FuelCell Energy power plant fuelled by renewable biogas generated at a distant location.

Separately, a 2.8 MW DFC3000 power plant is to be installed at a wastewater treatment plant operated by Inland Empire Utilities Agency (IEUA), a municipal water district based in Chino, California. Renewable biogas created by the wastewater treatment process will be the primary fuel source for the generation of ultra-clean electricity. UTS Bioenergy LLC will purchase the DFC3000 and sell the power generated to IEUA under a 20-year power purchase agreement. FuelCell Energy will service the power plant under a long term service agreement and the unit is expected to be operational in early 2012.


Siemens Energy has handed over units 30 & 40 of PowerSeraya’s Combined- Cycle Power Cogeneration Plant in Singapore. The new units replace three oil-fired plants on Jurong Island in the south-west of the country.

Siemens built the turnkey, 800 MW plant in an open consortium with Siemens AG as the consortium leader along with Siemens Pte Ltd Singapore and Samsung C&T Korea.

The high-efficiency combined-cycle units are configured for cogeneration, supplying both power to the grid and process steam to the neighbouring refinery owned by Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore. As a result, fuel utilization of the new units will be better than 75%.

Back in 2002, Siemens with its partner Samsung Corporation, constructed two combined-cycle units for PowerSeraya on the same site, with each unit rated at 370 MW. These units were likewise converted to cogeneration in the course of the new construction project. Completion of the new units means that PowerSeraya now has four combined cycle units on Jurong Island, with a total installed capacity of 1540 MW.

The Siemens scope of supply for the new units covered two SGT5-4000F gas turbines, two hydrogen-cooled generators, the heat recovery steam generators together with all the electrical systems, and the SPPA-T3000 control system. Siemens was also awarded a service contract for these units.


Essar Energy plc, an India-based integrated energy company, has announced that the first phase of the expansion of its Vadinar power plant in the state of Gujarat has been commissioned and is supplying both power and steam to its Vadinar oil refinery, under a long-term contract.

The Vadinar CHP plant expansion is being implemented in two phases and, including the steam capacity, will increase the total installed capacity by 890 MW.

The first phase (Vadinar P1) consists of 380 MW, comprising 220 MW (two units) of gas fired power generation capacity and 630 tonnes/hour of steam capacity. The second phase (Vadinar P2) consists of a multi-fuelled (coal, naphtha, light cycle oil, clarified slurry oil and furnace oil) cogeneration power plant of 510 MW, comprising 325 MW of power generation capacity and 900 tonnes/hour of steam capacity.


Caterpillar Inc has signed an agreement to acquire MWM Holding GmbH from 3i and funds managed by 3i.

Headquartered in Mannheim, Germany, MWM is a global supplier of alternative engines. With the acquisition of MWM, Caterpillar will significantly expand customer options for sustainable power generation solutions.

MWM can draw on more than 135 years of experience in the development and optimization of combustion engines for natural gas, special gases and diesel. The total transaction value amounts to €580 million (about $810 million) and will be paid in cash, says Caterpillar.

MWM will become part of Caterpillar’s Electric Power Division (EPD), which supplies natural gas and diesel generator sets and integrated power systems involved in the generation, control and supply of electricity. EPD operates in more than 50 locations around the world.

‘MWM is recognized for its leading technology and product strength, particularly for its highly efficient range of engines, CHP and trigeneration solutions capable of operating on a wide range of gaseous fuels including natural gas, biogas, mine gas and industrial waste gas,’ said Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman.

MWM’s main production focus is gensets (gas and diesel engines) for the generation of electrical energy ranging from 400 to 4300 kW per unit.


FuelCell Energy has announced the award of $2.8 million from the US Department of Energy to demonstrate the hydrogen and clean energy, production capacity of a Direct FuelCell power plant for an industrial user of hydrogen.

For this first-of-a-kind industrial application, FuelCell Energy will demonstrate how a 300 kW DFC300 fuel cell can produce hydrogen for use by the metal processing industry, along with clean electricity and high quality heat. The fuel cell will be installed at a metal processing facility owned by ACuPowder International, in Union, New Jersey, US.

The metal processing industry uses significant amounts of electricity and heat, along with industrial gases such as hydrogen, to treat metal prior to stamping, shaping or forming. ACuPowder uses this process, termed annealing, to make powdered copper. This project will capitalize on the versatility of fuel cells by configuring the fuel cell to generate three value streams. The project’s objectives are to demonstrate a highly efficient and clean fuel cell that will reduce costs for a metal processor, including electricity, heat and the costs associated with purchasing, transporting and storing industrial gases.

The DFC300 can generate sufficient hydrogen per day to generally meet the daily requirements of the ACuPowder facility. Over 600 companies in North America operate in the metal treating and annealing industry; these are potential customers for this technology.


GE’s Jenbacher has announced the development of a new, larger power generation gas engine – the J920 engine – with an electrical efficiency of 48.7% and an output of 9.5 MW. The engine is said to be the most efficient in its class and particularly suited to on-site power and CHP applications.

Click to Enlarge
J920 9.5 MW gas engine, developed for on-site power and CHP

The new, power-dense engine is attractive from both a customer and environmental perspective, says GE, as its higher efficiency not only reduces lifecycle costs due to lower fuel consumption, but also cuts greenhouse gas emissions. In comparison with commercially-available gas engines in the same output range, the operation of one J920 can prevent about 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and, in the same period, fuel savings of more than €217,000 ($300,000) can be achieved due to lower gas consumption.

The J920 is especially suitable for decentralized, independent power supply in remote, hot or high-altitude regions, for use in CHP applications and for stabilization of power grids. The prototype of the engine has been undergoing testing on a purpose-built test bench at GE’s Jenbacher manufacturing facilities in Austria since late summer.

A large-scale pilot programme is next, in which the new engine will operate for the first time at the ‘Stadtwerke’ (municipal utility company) of the town of Rosenheim, Germany. Following this test phase, serial production is schedule, and the new engine should be available for use in applications in 50 and 60 Hz countries in 2012.


The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has announced the formation of the Distributed Wind Energy Association (DWEA).

The new organization will focus on advocacy and education to promote the on-site generation and consumption of distributed wind energy. The new coalition will have a national scope and will be led by Jennifer Jenkins as executive director.

DWEA will expand the efforts of AWEA, which include producing an annual statistical report, and advocating on the state and federal levels for distributed wind – small and mid-sized turbines that generate enough electricity for a home or business.

Distributed wind systems create local jobs, reduce operating expenses, protect against electricity rate hikes, save fuel, and reduce pollution and energy imports, according to the DWEA.

Market data from 2009 show that the industry reached 100 MW of installed capacity, as well as more than $80 million in sales, and more than $250 million in private equity investment.


An integrated energy system, based on 15 kWe mini-CHP unit, is providing heating and hot water for an award-winning social housing project in Scotland, UK. The SAV Systems system serves Link Group Housing Association’s West Bridge Mill facility – a former rope mill in Kirkcaldy converted in 16 flats for vulnerable young people.

The mill has large windows, vaulted ceilings and solid walls. On-site electricity, and hot water for domestic services and radiator central heating, is provided by an EC Power 15G mini-CHP machine, marketed in the UK by SAV Systems. The machine, based on a gas-fired engine, can provide 6-15 kW electricity and 17-30 kW of heating energy.

West Bridge Mill has a round-the-clock energy requirement, although demand falls at night. Electricity generation matches load over each 24-hour period with the modulating system ensuring electricity generated never exceeds demand. All energy generated is used.

Heat from the unit is fed through a heat exchanger and used to heat water, which is stored in a thermal store at around 80°C. Water from the store can be drawn off to provide heating and domestic hot water services as required.


UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Greg Barker has made a commitment to ‘smash the glass ceiling’ for the growth of decentralized energy in Britain.

‘We want to see decentralized energy competing alongside other sources, as a significant part of the energy mix,’ he said at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham in October.

‘We have to smash the glass ceiling for decentralized energy that was put in place by the previous government.’

The pledge was welcomed by the UK CHP Association (CHPA). Barker continued by highlighting the importance of the government’s forthcoming programme of electricity market reform as a catalyst for change, and specifically as a key driver in the foundation of a substantial and competitive energy services market.

Graham Meeks, director of the CHPA, welcomed the pledge.

‘This is a clear and important indication of the government’s direction of travel. It offers encouragement to the growing number of businesses entering the energy services market, and to those supplying CHP equipment, renewable generation and energy efficiency products into it.’


Metso is to supply a new biomass-fired power boiler, utilizing bubbling fluidized bed technology, and a flue-gas cleaning and condensation system to Bomhus Energi AB.

The plant will start up in early 2013 and the order is worth more than €50 million ($68 million).

Korsnäs AB has supplied district heating water to Gävle Energi AB for 30 years. The two firms have, through the jointly owned company Bomhus Energi, decided to extend their co-operation and chose Metso technology to secure the delivery of district heating to the town of Gävle, and to produce steam and electricity from a new turbine for Korsnäs.

The planned plant will be inside the present premises of Korsnäs pulp mill.


American DG Energy has reached an agreement to supply clean energy to the Doubletree Guest Suites Boston, a premier, all-suite hotel situated adjacent to Harvard University in Boston, Massachusetts, in the United States.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Doubletree will receive a significant portion of its energy from a 75 kW CHP system, which will be owned and operated by American DG.

The hotel will receive a discount on the energy produced by the CHP system and reduce its carbon emissions by an estimated 320 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The value of the 15-year agreement to the company is $1.3 million.

Under its ‘on-site utility’ model, American DG Energy will produce clean energy and sell it to the hotel at a price lower than that charged by the local energy utility.

Doubletree, which belongs to a brand under the Hilton hotel chain, will pay only for the energy used and will not have to assume any capital, installation or operating costs.

The small-scale CHP equipment will remain owned and operated by American DG. The company has also undertaken to handle all service, maintenance and repair.


Finland’s Metso Corporation has been awarded a contract valued at more than €15 million ($21 million) to convert a pulverized coal boiler into a biomass-fired boiler for Dalkia Lodz SA in Lodz, Poland.

Metso’s scope also covers boiler island automation. The conversion of the coal boiler to a biomass boiler will enable Dalkia to contribute to Poland’s energy policy and to supply low-carbon power to the national electricity grid and the district heating systems in the city of Lodz.

The boiler conversion will maximize the use of existing boiler parts and auxiliary equipment, and simultaneously minimize interference with the existing installation. Commercial operation of the new boiler is scheduled to begin in December 2011.

The automation package to Dalkia Lodz includes metsoDNA automation and information systems, a certified safety system, as well as an instrumentation and electrification retrofit.

The Dalkia Group provides energy services for local authorities, public institutions, industry and firms, running 176 biomass facilities worldwide that consume 1.8 million tonnes of biomass.


The UK town of Cirencester is to host a biogas CHP plant that, fuelled by a variety of biomass sources, will produce 1 MW of electricity and heat, some of which will feed the anaerobic digester in which the biogas is made. The agricultural biomass will include chicken litter, pig manure, corn, wheat and grass from local farms.

Alfagy, the main equipment supplier, focuses on renewable energy and distributes CHP plants that run on natural gas, biogas and wood.

‘We have many installations in Europe but this is our first biogas installation in the UK,’ said Peter Kindt, the managing director of Alfagy. ‘We believe this is a model for the future of local power generation.’

The farmers who erected the biogas plant will have the benefit of free heat for animals, grain drying and housing, which was previously a significant expense. In addition, the biogas plant extracts the smell out of waste and burns it in the CHP plant, after which the leftover ‘digestate’ can be used as a fertilizer.


GE has announced the acquisition of substantially all of the assets of Calnetix Power Solutions (CPS), a Florida-based company that develops innovative technology for small-scale, waste heat-to-power projects.

Recovering waste heat from industrial processes and using it to produce electricity is a rapidly growing trend in the global power industry, offering high efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint.

CPS offers waste heat-to-power technology to generate electricity using the waste heat of various types of engines, biomass boilers and gas turbines. The business will be integrated into GE’s Jenbacher gas engine business, based in Jenbach, Austria. Today, much of the activity in the small-scale, waste heat recovery sector is centred in Europe, says GE.

GE also acquired certain underlying intellectual property from Calnetix, Inc, CPS’s parent company.

Calnetix’s core technologies include permanent magnet motors and generators, magnetic bearings and power electronics. At the heart of these systems is Calnetix’s ‘integrated power module’ (IPM), a high speed in-line expander-generator utilizing magnetic bearings.


Mexico’s largest steel galvanizing plant, owned by POSCO-Mexico, is to save $6 million per year in electrical power costs and achieve power independence by using GE’s Jenbacher on-site generation equipment.

The new 9 MW power project will use natural gas to produce POSCO-Mexico’s power instead of the company purchasing it from the grid.

The power plant, located in Altamira, Mexico, features three of GE’s natural gas fuelled JMS 620 Jenbacher gas engines, rated at 3 MW each. It was designed and built for POSCO-Mexico by its partner company, Daewoo Engineering Company of South Korea, and will enter commercial operation by the end of this year. The engines were sold to Daewoo Engineering through GE’s Jenbacher authorized distr-ibutor, Smith Power Products of Salt Lake City, Utah.

The galvanized steel produced at the plant will be shipped to the automotive industry in North and South America, which depends heavily on this type of steel for the production of many components used in car manufacturing.

‘The savings POSCO-Mexico realizes from producing its own power, all day, every day, using GE’s proven Jenbacher technology will allow the company to be in a position to explore expansion of its current facilities,’ said Gwandeung An, project manager for Daewoo Engineering.

GE claims JMS 620 Jenbacher engines’ 1,500 rpm speed results in a high power density and low installation costs.

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