A combined heat and power (CHP) plant in the US state of Massachusetts has completed operational testing and come online, the project’s developer has reported.

The 4000-hour testing phase for the plant at the Erving Paper Mill in the town of Erving included transitioning to island mode multiple times in response to grid power disruptions.

EPC contractor Waldron Engineering & Construction, which designed and built the project on a fast-track basis, said the system is primarily fuelled with compressed natural gas, with two alternate backup fuels.

The scope of work involved installation of a new CHP unit and building adjacent to the Mill’s existing steam plant. Included were a Solar Turbines Taurus 60 dual-fuel combustion turbine with a duct-fired, 600-psig heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), connection to the Mill’s existing compressed natural gas delivery system, a synthetic natural gas (propane + air) mixing system for secondary fuel to the duct burner, a revised 13.8 kV electrical interconnection with new switchgear, a black start generator and upgrades to the existing utility systems.

The project was undertaken in order to improve the Mill’s reliability, increase its energy efficiency and reduce its overall energy spend. The CHP plant now provides the bulk of its power and all high pressure steam for paper-making, Waldron said. 

After a successful operational demonstration test in late 2015, the project received energy efficiency rebate funding through the local utility, National Grid and the state’s MASS Save scheme.