The World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE) recently established the Cogeneration Industries Council (CIC) which will serve as the leading industry voice on behalf of the rapidly growing cogeneration power industry. The goal of the organisation will be to help drive the deployment of cogeneration (now often referred to as combined heat and power or ‘CHP’) and distributed generation across the US.

The emergence of the CIC coincides with a renaissance in cogeneration as a result of several compelling market drivers that have enhanced the feasibility of systems installations. Between 2006 and 2011 total installed cogeneration capacity was below 1000 MW but rose to 1407 MW in 2012 according to the CHP database supported by the US Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory. By 2013 the amount of CHP in development or under construction was reported to be 4400 MW. This recent rise is driven by new industrial growth, abundant gas supplies, increased value on energy security, resiliency and reliability, equipment improvements and system optimisation technology.

Policy changes have played a part in the rise of CHP. In August 2012, President Obama signed an Executive Order aimed at facilitating investment in industrial energy efficiency by expanding the use of on-site CHP. Even though the order contained no mandates or funding it did “direct the Departments of Energy, Commerce and Agriculture, and the Environmental Protection Agency, to co-ordinate actions at the Federal level while providing policy and technical assistance to states to promote investments in industrial energy efficiency.”

State regulatory changes have also had an impact on the growth of the cogeneration industry. CHP development is supported across the US by various promotion incentives, and some states have adopted new statutory mechanisms that enhance the appeal of CHP.

Perhaps the most impactful regulatory change is the Environmental Protection Agency’s hazardous air pollutant standards for boilers. The Major Source Boiler Rule (Boiler MACT) directly affects coal oil-fueled boilers, and compliance with the new rules is costly. Those affected are weighing their options and moving to a natural gas CHP system is a viable decision.

The Cogeneration Industries Council will provide solid footing amid the swirling market drivers, policy directives, regulatory changes and public misconceptions about cogeneration. With members providing direction, the CIC will bridge the gap between commercial and industrial markets for cogeneration and cogeneration project developers, equipment suppliers, project financing organisations, service providers and others. The CIC will serve as the advocacy voice for the industry and will communicate the value proposition of cogeneration through an expanded offering of conferences, events, and outreach activities as well as facilitate business development and the sharing of best practices.

Although the CIC name may be new the organisation does have established roots and an existing track record. The CIC was formed when the members of the Texas Combined Heat and Power Initiative (TXCHPI) decided to merge with WADE to form the CIC. TXCHPI had been in existence since 2007 and since its inception it quickly secured its role as a champion for the cogeneration industry in Texas and the Gulf area. In this role TXCHPI advocated for the requirement that installation of CHP be evaluated prior to the construction or renovation of government facilities deemed to be critical for emergency preparedness and response. TXCHPI also sought and obtained passage of an expedited air permit for CHP systems and obtained changes to the utility code that now enable cogeneration facilities to sell electricity to multiple parties without being regulated as retail electric providers.

TXCHPI also implemented a conference dedicated to cogeneration, trigeneration and waste heat-to-power that has become the nation’s largest conference dedicated to these technologies. This conference and tradeshow event will continue under the WADE and CIC banner.

The CIC is an expansion of the work done in Texas to make cogeneration an important part of the ongoing energy discussion. Emphasis will continue to be placed on the air quality improvements derived from more cogeneration installations, but now also includes attention to the increasingly important role that CHP can play in reducing the amount of water used for power production.

Beyond the energy and environmental benefits, the deployment of more cogeneration systems can also lead to impressive economic and job growth impacts, and the CIC will ensure that these value propositions are communicated and understood.

With the CIC established, WADE has enhanced its ability to advance deployment of a broad range of on-site energy technologies and systems using natural gas, biogas and other clean fuels in cogeneration , trigeneration, micro-CHP, district energy, district heating and cooling and microgrid systems as well as systems that are fueled by renewable energy sources and waste heat-to-power. As the CIC’s work unfolds and the knowledge and awareness of cogeneration is expanded to potential end users, this important energy resource will be better recognised as viable, efficient and sustainable by both policy leaders and the general public.

For more information about the CIC go to www.localpower.org


Wartsila and Energy Exemplar Release Paper on Power System Optimisation by Increased Flexibility

A paper titled Agile gas-based power plants for affordable, reliable and sustainable power, written jointly by Wärtsilä and Energy Exemplar, explores the substantial system benefits of increased flexibility and improved dynamic dispatch capability. Specifically, the capacity of combustion engines to enable these qualities better than comparable state-of-the-art gas turbine-based plants is studied in the context of the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) power system.

Significant amounts of renewable energy are installed into US power systems at the state, regional and national level, often due to the need to comply with renewable portfolio standards (RPS). While renewable energy is a means for reducing reliance on fossil fuels and decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, it is increasingly evident that there is a need for a flexible thermal fleet to help balance the renewables.

The primary fuel considered for new builds is natural gas, and the default technology to meet capacity and flexibility needs is gas turbines in simple or combined cycle. The paper shows the substantial system benefits of increased flexibility and improved dynamic dispatch capability. This is achieved by exchanging traditional gas turbine-based plants in the planning process to gas-fired combustion engine plants. The combustion engine plants have zero start costs and faster start and ramp rates than comparable state-of-the-art gas turbine-based plants.

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is representative of a large system implementing an aggressive 33% RPS by the year 2020. Through simulation of the year 2022, the paper compares reliability, operational costs, water consumption and CO2 emissions for the CAISO system assuming 5.6 GW of new-build gas turbine-based capacity against a 5.6 GW scenario of combustion engine generation. For modelling, PLEXOSTM, a dispatch simulation software by Energy Exemplar, was used.

The rapid start times, superior efficiency and flexibility of gas-fired combustion engines are shown to increase the entire fleet efficiency within the CAISO system by reducing cycling and starts/stops on existing combined cycles and optimising provision of ancillary services. Flexibility combined with the superior reliability of multi-shaft engine plants are shown to reduce the number of hours of ancillary service shortfalls by 70% and the magnitude (MW) of ancillary service shortfalls by more than 50%.

The Gas Engine Alternative scenario shows estimated ratepayer savings of 4%–6%, compared to the Base Case scenario with gas turbine plants. Water consumption is reduced by 25 million gallons (about 114 million litres) per year, and CO2 emissions are curtailed by 1.1% (>500,000 short tons, or 454,000 tonnes, per year).

If you are interested in additional details please contact us at info@localpower.org, or to download the full version of the paper go to: www.localpower.org/power_system_optimization_by_increased_flexibility

For more information visit www.localpower.org

David Sweet from WADE presenting on Decentralised Energy Technologies

State University of New York at Delhi and Delaware County Collaborate at Energy Symposium

The State University of New York at Delhi and the Delaware County Department of Economic Development and Watershed Affairs co-hosted The Delaware County Sustainable Energy Symposium on 8 March in Delhi, New York.

Over 100 participated in the symposium, which focused on renewable and clean energy, sustainable landscape and green buildings. Participants discussed various methods for integrating new technology in the existing grid to make it more efficient. Specific topics of discussion included saving energy and money for customers through decentralisation and renewable energy mechanisms; distributed generation integration; combining information management, communications and automation; integrating demand response and resource planning; smart meters and networks; educating consumers; and monitoring and managing the flow of energy demand and distribution within the network.

SUNY Delhi assistant professor Sridhar Samudrala, who also represented WADE at the symposium, delivered the keynote address on smart/intelligent grid integration for a sustainable future. ‘Our discussions promoted more efficient generation and profitable practices which mitigate the environmental impacts of energy production, and increase decentralised energy access while saving the customers real dollars in energy costs,’ said Professor Samudrala.

Michael D’Arcy, outreach coordinator for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, articulated the various methods of saving money with energy audits.

SUNY Delhi is a member of the State University of New York, the largest comprehensive university system in the US. For more information about SUNY Delhi, call toll-free +001 800 96 DELHI or visit Delhi’s web site at www.delhi.edu

Left to right: National Electrical Contractor Association Student Chapter members Thomas Coughlan, Andrew Quant, S Samudrala, WADE, members John Montforte III and Bruno Albertassi, and SUNY Delhi Dean Eric Robert

WADE Presents at Annual Meeting of Naturgas

The annual meeting of Naturgas, the natural gas association of Colombia, brought together over 700 attendees and numerous energy companies from South America to discuss the latest trends and opportunities in the natural gas industry and how combined heat and power can help stimulate gas demand. David Sweet, executive director, WADE presented on Natural Gas, Cogeneration and Decentralised Energy Opportunities for Colombia and the World. Other topics included new technologies, gas transport and global market development.

David Sweet, Executive Director, WADE


Startup Decentralised energy technology showcase

WADE and Start Up Chile came together to organise ‘StartUp Decentralized Energy Technology Showcase’ which created an opportunity for participants to learn all about the technology and network with participating energy companies which included Solar Brush and SmartHub. Solar Brush is a robotic cleaning system for solar power plants. SmartHub is a Canadian renewable energy company currently based in Vian del Mar, Chile, the strength of which is its universal AC/DC inverter which is compatible with all solar and wind generators.

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