UK’s first carbon neutral laboratory announced

The UK’s first carbon neutral laboratory is to be built at the University of Nottingham in England and is set to cost around $24m.

A project team including contractor Morgan Sindall and project manager Gleeds will start construction of the 4500 sq m facility this autumn and the laboratory is to powered by renewable sources including solar power and sustainable biomass.

The GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory of Sustainable Chemistry will provide chemistry laboratory facilities for 100 researchers and is being part-funded by GlaxoSmithKline. It is expected that the laboratory will become carbon neutral after 25 years of operation.

The university claims that excess energy created by the building will provide enough carbon credits over 25 years to pay back the carbon used in its construction.

GE in Innovative partnership in Vancouver

GE, Nexterra and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have combined to produce the first renewable waste combined heat and power system in North America.

The system involves taking wood fuel and converting it to synthetic gas, which is burned to produce heat. GE asked Nexterra to produce a syngas that burns cleanly enough to fuel its Jenbacher high-efficiency internal combustion engines, and that is the core process at the centre of the facility.

Combining Nexterra’s proprietary gasification and syngas conditioning process with the Jenbacher creates a system capable of producing both heat and electricity.

Nexterra spent four years at its facility in Kamloops developing a way to crack tars from syngas. After more than 5000 hours of successful small-scale trials, GE and Nexterra approached UBC to host a larger demonstration project.

Dubbed the Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility, the equipment is housed in a solid wood building on UBC’s Vancouver campus. Fuelled by renewable syngas, the Jenbacher can generate 2 MW of electricity and 3 MW of thermal energy, enough to displace up to 12% of UBC’s natural gas consumption.

Once the system logs more runtime, GE said that it will begin promoting the cogeneration system worldwide.

GE is now working with Nexterra to explore the use of syngas from other renewable sources, such as biosolids from sewage treatment plants, to fuel the Jenbacher.

London hospital department to be powered on-site

A new accident and emergency department is to be facilitated with on-site and combined heat and power technology.

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services has signed a £14m ($21m) contract with North West London Hospitals NHS Trust to construct the facility in Harrow.

The building has been designed to be highly sustainable and features such as a rooftop bio-diversity garden and an array of power providing photo-voltaic cells, in tandem with the combined heat and power unit.

The building work is due to be completed next April.

Report urges utilities to invest in CHP technology

A research report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy states that utilities could reap substantial benefits by investing in and encouraging new combined heat and power systems.

It says the major benefits CHP offers to utilities include cost-effectiveness, fast deployment, and loss avoidance and reduced strain on transmission and distribution systems.

The report states that policy and regulatory changes that would allow or encourage utilities to take advantage of these benefits include establishing an energy efficiency resource standard or other portfolio standard that prioritizes CHP as a critical resource, and allowing utilities to earn cost recovery and economic returns on investments in CHP, as allowed for other generation resources.

The report also advises encouragement of utilities to offer dedicated CHP programmes within overall energy efficiency programming, and offering performance incentives for exceptional efficiency results.

Japanese-Saudi consortium to build cogen plants

As part of the drive for greater energy efficiency, Saudi Aramco has signed three new energy conversion agreements with a Japanese-Saudi consortium to build and operate cogeneration power plants in the kingdom.

The agreements for the cogeneration plants were signed with Marubeni Corp. and JGC Corp. of Japan and Saudi Aljomaih Energy & Water Co.

The plants will generate a total of 900 MW of power and 1500 tonnes of steam per hour when they commence operation in 2016 at the company’s facilities at Abqaiq, Hawiya and Ras Tanura (pictured below).

Aramco did not disclose the value of the deals but said it would hold a 50% stake in the plants, which will have a thermal efficiency of more than 80%, compared with conventional generation thermal efficiency of 40-50%.

Siemens secures deal to equip Siberian lng project

Siemens has won an order to deliver eight SGT-800 industrial gas turbines to supply heat and power for the $20bn Yamal liqufied natural gas production plant in Siberia.

Located onshore, the Yamal cogeneration plant will power the giant LNG project, which develops and liquefies the abundant wet gas ressouces of the Yamal-Nenets regional.

The order was placed by Technopromexport (TPE), a Russian engineering company wholly-owned by Rostec State Corporation. TPE had previously won an EPC contract in a competitive tender process to build the Yamal LNG power plant with an electric capacity of 376 MW, reports Gas to Power Journal.

Siemens’ scope of supply includes the design, manufacture, factory testing, delivery, installation and commissioning of eight SGT-800 industrial gas turbines, four of which equipped with waste head recovery units, and nine additional step-up transformers.

Event calls for chp policy push

The 2013 DOE Western Regional Dialogue Meeting on Industrial Energy Efficiency and Combined Heat and Power will take place in Salt Lake City, in the US, on October 29.

This one-day dialogue meeting will focus on the potential for increased industrial energy efficiency in the region.

It will also push for successful industrial and CHP policy approaches, innovative policy options, and opportunities to work together to achieve the many benefits of industrial energy efficiency and CHP.

The meeting builds on the August 30, 2012, Executive Order: Accelerating Investment in Industrial Energy Efficiency, which sets a goal of 40 GW of new, cost-effective industrial CHP in the US by 2020.

It also calls for developing and implementing state best practice policies and investment models that address the multiple barriers to industrial energy efficiency and CHP.

Winning bidder announced for Dubai district cooling plant

Trans Gulf has emerged from a rigorous process to win the contract to develop Empower’s new district cooling (DC) plant at the Business Bay complex (pictured) in Dubai, UAE.

Construction Weekly reports senior vice-president of projects at the company, S.G. Thiyagarajan, as saying that the process was “very tough”.

Trans Gulf was chosen ahead of several major MEP contractors as its experience in developing other local DC plants proving vital to securing the $42m contract.

Trans Gulf’s experience in district cooling plants includes the operation and maintenance of Business Bay’s District Cooling Plant 2 and Dubai Health Care City’s DCP, as well as the reticulation works, operation and maintenance of Business Bay’s District Cooling Plant 3.

The project will involve the construction of one building with a built-up area of almost 9,500m² and will have a total capacity of 43,750 refrigeration tonnes (RT).

The facility will be the first district cooling plant in the region to be built in line with “green building” principles, and to follow the guidelines of treated sewage effluent and thermal energy storage.

The project is expected to be completed in mid-2014.

European bank seeks to promote efficiency with $857m bond

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has issued the largest ever climate bond in the European Union.

The $857m (€650m) funds from the Climate Awareness Bond are earmarked for projects within the fields of renewable energy and energy efficiency.

These include wind, hydropower, wave, tidal, solar and geothermal projects and efficiency schemes such as district heating, cogeneration, building insulation, energy loss reduction in transmission and distribution, and equipment replacement with significant energy efficiency improvements. The bank said the bond generated strong demand among a series of investors genuinely interested in the socially responsible features of the transaction, adding new investors to EIB’s distribution, particularly in the Benelux, Germany and France, which accounted for around 80% of final allocations.

Asset managers, insurance companies and pension funds provided more than half of distribution by investor type.

The European Union and the EIB have both made climate change mitigation and adaptation a top policy priority.

Biogas CHP deal marks Weltec’s first contract in Belgium

Weltec Biopower has won its first contract in Belgium, having been requested by NPG Energy to set up a biogas combined heat and power plant in the Limburg region.

The 2.4-MW plant will power around 5000 households and is set to go live in spring 2014.

The 19 GWh that will be generated every year will be consumed by the Spin-group BV, which needs the electricity for its production facilities in which special carpet yarns are manufactured in a demanding polymerisation process.

The plant concept ensures efficiency in all areas. The generated heat will be utilised directly on site: the digestate will be extracted directly from the 2000m3 second-stage-digester in order to be dried with the entire heat produced by the plant and the dry fertiliser will then be sold to fruit and winegrowers across the border.

A highly efficient mix from grease separators and a pre-mixed, ready-to-use substrate will account for another major portion of the input. Apart from plant residue, this mix will also contain fats and vegetable waste. Additionally, the two bioreactors of a capacity of 4700m3 each will be fed with soap water from biodiesel production and cereals prune. This substrate mix is typical for Belgium, where biogas digesters have always been charged with diverse mixtures.

China’s tallest building reaches dizzy energy efficiency heights

The Shanghai Tower, which will be China’s tallest building when finally completed next year, is using on-site power and cogeneration to power its vast operation.

Topping out ceremonies were held this month to mark the completion of the core structure of the tower, when the last beam was placed on top of the 632-metre (2073-foot) building designed by global design and architecture firm Gensler.

Wind turbines located directly beneath the parapet generate on-site power for the upper floors of the building, with a 2130kW natural gas-fired cogeneration system on site providing electricity and heat energy to the lower floors.

Meanwhile, the tower’s outer skin insulates the building, reducing energy use for heating and cooling. The tower’s spiralling parapet collects rainwater, which is used for the tower’s heating and air conditioning systems.

Overall, the $2.2bn Shanghai Tower’s sustainable strategies will reduce the building’s carbon footprint by 34 000 metric tonnes per year.

Manhattan’s largest hotel completes cogen installation

The New York Hilton has completed a new green roof system and installed a cogeneration system, both designed to reduce the hotel’s overall carbon footprint.

The 16 000-square-foot green roof system was installed by Xero Flor America and is located on the hotel’s fifth floor rooftop setback on the building’s West 53rd Street side. The system represents a major investment by Hilton New York to benefit efforts in carbon capture, energy conservation, and reduction of the Urban Heat Island effect.

The installation of a highly-efficient, environmentally-friendly cogeneration system also situated on the hotel’s fifth floor roof setback, will provide in excess of 50% of the hotel’s electrical power and over 40% of its steam consumption for heating and hot water requirements.

As the largest hotel in New York City with 1981 rooms, Hilton New York consumes over 23 million kW hours of electricity per year.

Date set for Nippon biomass plant to go operational

Nippon Paper Industries USA’s expanded biomass cogeneration plant is finally set to go online in October in Washington State.

The plant will create steam to make paper and generate 20 MW of electricity for the mill and for sale.

That includes hydraulic equipment, valves, fuel lines and a snakelike mass of external piping that carries water, steam and air between the boiler and the mill.

Main components include a 30-foot cooling tower, 110-foot boiler and a 115-foot cone-shaped wood-waste-fuel silo.

Also being tested is a “truck dump” that lifts vehicles filled with biomass high in the air — tractor, trailer and all — and dumps the wood waste out the back.

The project has survived appeals before the state Shoreline Hearings Board and Thurston County Superior Court that began before construction commenced in June 2011.

Opponents have been concerned about air pollution, though the company has maintained — and the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency has agreed — that Nippon has fulfilled all state and federal pollution-control laws.

The cost of the new plant originally was estimated at $71m but it rose to $85m due to higher-than-expected costs for the cooling tower and redesign of the fuel silo and foundation.

Fortum inaugurates latvia’s largest biomass plant

Fortum has inaugurated the largest biomass combined heat and power plant in Latvia.

The plant is located in Jelgava and will generate an electrical capacity of 23 MW and heat capacity 45 MW.

The inauguration ceremony will be attended by the Presidents of both Latvia and Finland, and the Ambassador of Finland to Latvia.

The plant is to use wood chips as fuel and will provide up to 85% of Jelgava’s district heating capacity.

Meanwhile, French engineering giant Alstom is to supply flue gas cleaning and a heat recovery system at the new $158m Tekniska Verkin waste-to-energy cogeneration plant in Sweden.

The CHP plant is to be run by the state-owned waste management and biogas producer in the city of Linköping, Sweden and is set to generate 80MW of power.

Alstom’s flue gas cleaning system is being used to achieve EU level emissions.

The system includes an Alstom NID semi-dry cleaning step that injects lime and activated carbon to clean flue gas. The flue gas then goes through a scrubber to remove more emissions and recover heat.

The other suppliers on the new power plant are Fincantieri Cantieri Navali Italiani, which will supply the turbine, and German Fisia Babcock Environment, supplying the boiler. The new plant is to be ready for commissioning in 2016.


India’s Antarctic polar station powered by three CHP units

Bharathi Indian Polar Station, the scientific research facility located in the Antarctic Circle, is being powered by combined heat and power technology since becoming operational last year.

The facility (pictured), which is comprised of shipping containers, uses three combined heat and power units, fueled by kerosene, to generate heat and power.

Commissioned by India’s National Center For Antarctic And Ocean Research and designed by Hamburg-based BOF Architekten, the new station is located Larsmann Hills section of northeast Antarctica.

The treaty that governs international research stations on the continent stipulate that the structure must have the ability to be completely disassembled and removed from the frigid landscape without leaving a trace, so the designers immediate turned to shipping containers as their building medium, reports EarthTechling.

Built on stilts, the Bharathi Polar Station has three floors, comprised of 134 shipping containers. The containers, which were prefabricated in Germany, are interlocked and covered by an insulated skin and outer shell.

Inside the facility are 24 single and double rooms, a kitchen, dining room, library, fitness room, offices, lounge, and an operating theatre along with laboratories, storage areas, assorted technical spaces, and a workshop.


US Plastic manufacturer Toray to utilise CHP at campus

Rhode Island-based Toray Plastics in the US is to build a $22.7m cogen system at its Kingstown campus (pictured).

Toray is keen to avoid the damage caused by disruptive weather events and associated power outages.

Toray already operates a cogeneration system that supplies continuous power to its Lumirror polyester film division, which sustains manufacturing production even during severe weather events and enables the firm to provide uninterrupted customer service.

The new system is expected to be operational by March next year. It will be dedicated to powering production on-site for the Torayfan polypropylene film division and other sites around the property.

The company’s decision to build a new cogeneration unit is supported by the Rhode Island Public Utilities Commission and National Grid, which supplies 100% of the electricity distributed to Toray beyond Toray’s own cogenerated electricity.

New Mexican legislation could open up fresh cogen opportunities

The Mexican government has unveiled a bill that would open up more opportunities for cogeneration to flourish in the country.

While the bill is mainly concerned with changing the Mexican constitution to let it partner with private companies to find and produce oil and gas in a country, it also seeks to liberalise Mexico’s electricity sector by allowing private firms to produce and sell electricity to consumers.

A third of Mexico’s electricity is generated by private firms under a cogeneration plan where they produce power for themselves and sell the extra to the state electric utility.

If the legislation passes it will continue to encourage an environment where combined heat and power can grow.

The move would end the monopoly of the Federal Electricity Commission, poten-tially lowering electricity prices for companies and residents. The bill now goes to Mexico’s congress.

The conservative opposition has said it would support the proposals, giving Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party the two-thirds majority it will need to pass the constitutional changes.

More COSPP Articles
Past COSPP Issues