13 July 2010 – North Carolina’s Catawba County Board of Commissioners has voted to proceed with a new biomass-fuelled CHP system developed by US-based biomass gasification company Nexterra, in conjunction with GE Power & Water’s gas engine division.
The new CHP System, to be located at Catawba County’s EcoComplex, will produce 2 MW of clean, cost-effective green electricity for sale to a local utility.
Waste heat from the engines will be used to dry biosolids produced at a new waste water treatment facility.
Wood waste diverted from Catawba’s landfill site will be gasified and converted into clean synthetic gas (or syngas) using Nexterra’s proprietary gasification technology.
The syngas will be directly fired into a GE gas engine. The system will be capable of providing high net efficiencies – up to 65% in CHP mode – which makes it economic at small-scale.
Catawba County already has 2.5 MW of electricity generating capacity from landfill gas using GE Jenbacher gas engines. The new biomass CHP system will use a similar Jenbacher gas engine.
‘This new CHP system represents a paradigm shift away from large, centralized biomass plants to a network of decentralized, smaller and more efficient biomass plants ideally suited for counties and municipalities,’ said Barry Edwards, director of Utilities and Engineering for Catawba County.
‘Not only will the system generate additional revenue for the County, but it will also reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, stimulate local economic development and extend the life of our landfill.’