GE is supplying its Jenbacher biogas engine technology to power China’s largest ethanol production plant now being built in the city of NanYang, Henan Province. Owned by Henan Tianguan Group, the ethanol production plant will produce 500,000 m3 of biogas per day, based on organic material from cassava plants.

A 36 MW on-site power plant based on Jenbacher engines is being built in multiple phases to support the ethanol plant’s operations. Both new facilities are being built adjacent to the company’s existing ethanol production facility, which uses a biomass digester system to convert cassava into ethanol.

For the 11 MW first phase of the new on-site power plant, GE is supplying four J620 biogas engine units. The gas engines will utilize the ethanol production facility’s waste methane biogas to generate renewable electricity, which Henan Tianguan Group plans to sell to the regional grid. The biogas engines also will use methane gas created by the anaerobic digestion of cassava biomass to produce renewable energy for use on site.

With an overall efficiency of 82.8% (electrical efficiency 42.8% and thermal efficiency 40%), the new biogas power plant will provide Henan Tianguan Group with substantial operational and energy savings. In addition to the power sold to the grid, Henan Tianguan Group also will receive financing support through the sale of carbon credits, since the project has been registered with the Clean Development Mechanism.


The UK distribution partner of decentralized power equipment supplier MWM, Edina UK, has concluded a multi-year contract with Anglian Water and several projects for Welsh Water – two UK water supply companies – to provide gas-powered generators to operate at water treatment sites.

Welsh Water has ordered complete container gensets for four large advanced thermal digestion projects at Eign, Wrexham, Cardiff and Afan, with a total generator output of more than 10 MWe. Edina UK’s order from Anglian Water for power generation from sewage gas covers the supply of container gensets over five years. The first six were commissioned in early 2011.

MWM, which is based in Mannheim, Germany, says its innovative gas engines are noted for their high-efficiency, proven reliability and low maintenance. The Edina Group has a track record in design, construction and long-term operation of gas engines powered by various types of gas, including sewage gas.


Finland’s Fortum is set to build a €140 million (US$208 million) combined heat and power (CHP) plant in Klaipeda, Lithuania, in a project for which the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) has provided half of the necessary funds.

The new plant will be fuelled by municipal solid waste, non-hazardous industrial waste and biomass, and is scheduled to be operational by the first quarter of 2013.

The facility’s future output capacity is planned at approximately 60 MW of district heat and 20 MW of electricity, which will be sold to the Lithuanian national grid. The district heating produced will be sold to Klaipedos Energija, replacing its old natural gas-fired heating plants.

The Klaipeda plant is said to be the Baltic region’s first waste-to-energy plant and the projecte is aimed at reducing the amount of waste deposited in the region’s landfills.


An untapped potential of 120 GWe of CHP could be developed in EU Member States by 2020, according to the results of the CODE (Cogeneration Observatory and Dissemination Europe) project, an EU co-funded project that monitors the implementation of the Cogeneration Directive in the 27 EU Member States.

The 33-month project has come to an end and its final results were presented by project partners to a wide representation of the European cogeneration sector at the CODE Final Dissemination Workshop in Brussels in March. The project ends at a time when the EU is discussing the future direction of its energy policy, and has started the revision of the Cogeneration Directive.

Over the past three years, CODE has seen a slow implementation of the Cogeneration Directive and highly variable reporting back to the Commission by Member States. Analysis of the 27 national reports has identified potential for a further 120 GWe, equivalent to primary energy savings of 35 MTOE, for cogeneration in Europe, with most Member States being able to double or add 50% additional capacity to their existing installed base.

The CODE project will release a handbook of best practice cases soon, and will conclude with the publication of a draft European Cogeneration Roadmap.


Energy services company MITIE has signed a 15-year contract with The Royal Free Hampstead NHS Trust in London, UK, to supply all of the Trust’s energy independently of the national grid, including heating and hot water.

MITIE is to develop an energy centre within the hospital with a gas turbine that will provide the electrical and heat supply to the hospital.

The project will use gas turbine technology that will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 16% in its first year of operation and result in overall savings of £14 million (US$23 million) over the course of the contract, according to MITIE. The company adds that it is putting in place further energy saving measures that will reduce the Trust’s carbon emissions by a total of 25%.

The development of the energy centre has been funded by MITIE and its partners, which will maintain it for the length of the agreement in return for an annual fee from the hospital. As part of the contract with The Royal Free, MITIE has guaranteed to deliver financial efficiency savings and, if these exceed the capital outlay, share the surplus funds with the Trust.


A new White Paper from the US-based International District Energy Association (IDEA) advocates including CHP in a federal Clean Energy Standard (CES) in order to provide what IDEA calls a four-way win: a reduction in consumer and industrial costs; enhancement of energy security; an increase in energy efficiency; and reduced emissions.

Both the Obama Administration and Congress have put forward a federal CES as a central approach to advancing a new energy policy for the United States.

Bills introduced in the past to address a clean energy standard would have required electric utilities to develop a portfolio of supplies from a set of prescribed technologies such as solar and wind. But the clean energy concept has subsequently been broadened to encompass generation from other sources, including nuclear, ‘efficient natural gas’ and clean coal with carbon capture and storage, as well as energy efficiency measures.

The IDEA therefore advocates CES legislation that includes combined heat and power as an eligible clean technology and also takes a truly technology-neutral approach to calculating CES credits based on the avoided primary energy consumption or greenhouse gas reductions compared with generation of electricity using a reference plant, and production of heat using a natural gas boiler, while allowing credits to be issued to entities other than electric utilities.

This approach would be far more cost-effective and flexible in increasing power sector efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in the view of IDEA.


China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) says it plans to launch 1000 distributed generation (DG) projects with natural gas as the fuel source in 2011. Currently, China has 5 GW of installed capacity of DG-based generators with natural gas as the fuel, which accounts for less than 1% of total distributed generation.

According to the NEA, by the end of 2020, the installed capacity of DG-based natural gas generators is expected to reach 50 GW, a ten-fold increase on 2011, representing 3% of total installed capacity.

The NEA recently said it would draw up policies supporting the development of natural gas in distributed energy systems, and would formulate policies promoting the development of renewable energy while proceeding with pilot DG projects.


Cofely District Energy (CDE)has signed a 25-year contract with Leicester City Council (LCC) to link and extend four existing district heating schemes across the City of Leicester in the UK. The work will be delivered through a new subsidiary company – Leicester District Energy Company – with an investment of £14 million (US$23 million) by CDE and additional funding from the UK government’s Community Energy Saving Programme.

The project will realize a long-held ambition of LCC to optimize the performance of its existing district heating schemes and will also significantly broaden the use of low carbon heating within Leicester.

The low carbon energy schemes are due to go live during 2012, serving 3000 dwellings across six housing estates, as well as 15 civic buildings, through 7 km of insulated pipework. When all of the first phases are delivered, the scheme will use a combination of more than 5 MW of low carbon gas-fired CHP and biomass boilers to achieve carbon dioxide emission savings of 12,000 tonnes per annum.


BDR Thermea has won the technology/innovation cat-egory of the 2011COGEN Europe Recognition Awards. The award recognizes BDR Thermea’s significant and innovative new developments in cogeneration technology and application across Europe.

This includes developing and launching the Remeha eVita and Baxi Ecogen micro-CHP units to domestic heating markets in Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, its experience in the mini-CHP market with the Baxi SenerTec unit, and Baxi Innotech’s work on the Gamma fuel cell.

The awards were presented at the COGEN Europe annual conference in Brussels in April.


One of the largest tomato growers in the southern hemisphere, D’Vine Ripe, has commissioned Power and Drive Solutions to design, supply and install a power control system to provide failsafe management for five on-site generators used to supplement mains power and provide back-up in the event of grid failure at its tomato-growing facility located near Adelaide in Australia.

D’Vine Ripe grows in excess of 10 million kg of vine-ripened tomatoes each year in a 17 hectare area under glass. The on-site generators help deliver the necessary power required to operate climate control systems that includes fans, shutters and evaporative coolers, as well as irrigation pumps, hydroponic articulation systems, robotic picking machines and power generally across the plant.

The generators operate in parallel to the mains utility supply, delivering additional power through a combination of three diesel generators, comprising two 1020 kW CAT 3512 and one 400 kW Cummins QSQ15 package. These are complemented by two CAT 3508 gas power generators providing 480 kW.

The power configuration is designed so the two CAT 3508 gas generators run in permanent parallel with the mains supply. As the site load increases through the day, the three diesel generators start and run in parallel with the mains and gas generators in a form of peak lop operation.


American DG Energy is now operating a clean energy system at Sterling Center YMCA, a branch of the North Shore YMCA in Massachusetts, US.

The operated by American DG at the Sterling Y is a highly efficient, 75 kW CHP system which generates electricity, space heat, hot water and pool heat at the property. With the company’s ‘on-site utility’ concept, the Sterling Y only pays for the energy used by the facility and avoids all capital, installation, operating and maintenance costs of the energy system. In addition, the energy produced by the system is priced lower than that from the local utility, so the Sterling Y began saving on energy costs immediately upon system start-up. It is expected to save over $200,000 during the term of the agreement.

In the case of the Sterling Y, the CHP system could reduce the property’s emissions by up to 300 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.


Metso is to supply a multilingual control room as part of a comprehensive automation delivery to an energy-from-waste CHP/district heating plant under construction close to Vaasa, Finland. The plant will be built by Hitachi Zosen Inova AG and run by Westenergy Oy.

The plant, running on source-separated waste with a capacity of 15 MW of electricity and 40 MW of district heat, is due on line at the end of 2012.

Metso’s delivery will consist of a Metso DNA distributed control system and an information management system, in addition to on-site commissioning, trial run support, training and spare parts. Metso’s multilingual control room will allow its users to choose from three languages.

Westenergy Oy is owned by five municipal waste management companies, which operate in an area consisting of more than fifty municipalities with more than 400,000 inhabitants.


South Africa’s telecommun-ications company, MTN Group, is using GE’s Jenbacher gas engine technology in what has been called the first trigeneration plant in South Africa. Similarly, ABSA Bank’s Tower West complex has installed GE’s natural gas-powered cogeneration plant, thought to be the first project of its kind in the financial sector of the country.

Rising power costs and frequent power outages are causing several South African companies to look to GE to supply them with alternative energy solutions, says the company. GE’s Jenbacher gas engines for the MTN and ABSA Bank projects were sold to Diesel Electric Services (DES) that, in turn, installed the gas engines for the two South African projects.

MTN’s trigeneration plant features two of GE’s Jenbacher J320 gas-powered generating sets, with an electrical output of 1063 kW and a thermal output of about 1.2 MW each. The trigeneration supplies electricity, heating and, using lithium bromide absorption chillers, chilled water for the air-handling units. The plant operates with an overall efficiency of up to 85%. ABSA’s cogeneration plant is powered by four of GE’s Jenbacher J620 natural gas powered generating sets, with an overall electrical output of about 12 MW and thermal output of about 5.5 MW.


Spain’s Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construcción is to build a US$320m cogeneration power plant with a capacity of 430 MW in Salamanca, a city that hosts a strong refining industry and has developed robust manufacturing and service sectors in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato.

The power plant will be constructed at the refinery operated by state-owned oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, in the city of Salamanca.

The facility will include, in addition to the cogeneration plant, a substation and eight 230 kV transmission lines, said Iberdrola Ingenieria. The project is expected to take 29 months to complete.

The Spanish company said that it had to overcome competition from seven rival energy groups to win the turnkey contract in an international tender organized by the state-owned company Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).


The European Commission is considering combining a revised version of the 2004 Cogeneration Directive with the Energy Services Directive to create a new Energy Saving Directive, according to the Commission’s Marie Donnelly, speaking at COGEN Europe’s annual conference in Brussels in March. Implementation of the original Directive has been slow and it has not had the impact it might have done, largely because of inaction Member States, the conference heard.

Indeed many national markets for large-scale cogeneration have been very quiet for some years, while the CHP for buildings sector has been healthier.

However, the crucial importance of heat within European energy markets is now better understood and a revised Directive which allied cogeneration to the wider energy efficiency effort could be more effective, said Donnelly. The revised Directive would address the requirement to build CHP plants where local heat loads exist; priority connection for CHP plants to power networks; and a standardized system of reporting of CHP data by Member States.

One of the main barriers to cogeneration failing to reach its economic potential in Europe is weak and short-term support measures, said Markus Tacke from Siemens, speaking at the same event. Stronger support measures are needed to allow CHP to compete with existing coal and nuclear generating plant that have already had their capital costs written-off, and the heavily subsidized renewables sector.


Capstone Turbine has sold six additional C65 units to a prominent natural gas producer whose current fleet of 49 Capstone microturbines has exceeded 1 million run time hours.

Pumps & Service, the Capstone Turbine distributor responsible for selling and securing the fleet of microturbines since 1999, has said that the six additional microturbines will expand the producer’s minigrid system in New Mexico’s San Juan Basin, in the United States.

The six new microturbines, which will be installed in June, will be part of a microturbine generation station that provides power to pumping and water transfer units at remote sites via a complex underground electrical system.

In Northern New Mexico’s rugged mountains, well sites often are located several miles from a central facility that collects water pumped from the ground at each remote site. Traditionally, the water has been hauled through the rugged terrain by truck to the central facility, making the production process extremely expensive. Microturbines allow the producer to pump water from tanks at each well site to a central water disposal facility, where the water is then returned to the ground, thus eliminating the need for water hauling.


Due to energy supply shortages, a number of South Africa’s factories have turned to natural gas and steel gas-fuelled engine generator sets to generate reliable on-site power, reports GE Energy. In the case of Thos Begbie & Company, a foundry located in the heavy industrial hub of Middelburg, Mpumalanga, the company has become nearly self-sufficient through the use of Jenbacher gas engine systems.

Thos Begbie & Company is a specialized foundry and production facility for the production of copper, chrome and manganese mainly for the export. In 2009, in order to expand production capacity, the company required the installation of an additional 10 MW of electricity to power the extra furnaces used in forging the specialized buckets. After considering its options – including the potential construction of its own full-scale power station – the company turned to GE for advice on an alternative energy solution.

GE recommended the installation of four of its 2.7 MW, J620 natural gas-fired Jenbacher engines to power the arc furnaces used in the foundry’s preheating processes. As it enters the completion phase of the Jenbacher project, Thos Begbie has become closer to self-sufficiency.

The Jenbacher engines have reduced the effect of power outages on the factory, and improved its production stability.


The UK’s largest French fry manufacturing facility has reduced the operating costs of its waste treatment process by employing a biogas-fuelled CHP system from CHP Solutions, a subsidiary of Dresser-Rand.

Located in Peterborough, the factory produces a wastewater output rich in potato starch, which must be cleaned and treated before it is properly discharged from the site. A covered anaerobic lagoon is the first stage in the site’s wastewater treatment process and this lagoon produces biogas as a by-product.

Dresser-Rand supplied a packaged, biogas-fuelled CHP unit of nominally 1 MW electrical output. Powered by a spark ignition reciprocating engine, the system was sized to optimize electrical generation from the available gas from the lagoon.

In addition to installing the CHP unit, the factory upgraded the facility by incorporating a gas scrubber to clean the sulphur from the biogas produced by the lagoon, and a gas booster plant to bring the gas supply pressure up to the level required for the CHP unit.

The system reduces operating costs by displacing imported power and by qualifying for Renewable Obligation Certificates, which are tradable in the UK.


Metso is to supply SIA Graanul Invest with a biomass power plant for CHP production in the municipality of Launkalne in Latvia. The power plant will be delivered by the Metso-Wärtsilä joint venture MW Power and the delivery scope includes a plant automation system delivered by Metso.

The biomass power plant will utilize bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) technology and will use combination of forest residues such bark and wood chips or milled peat as the main fuels. The plant will produce 15 MW of heat and 6.4 MW of electricity, which will be partly utilized in the customer’s own pellet factory. Most of the produced electricity will be distributed into national grid.

SIA Graanul Invest is Latvian-based subsidiary of AS Graanul Invest, a private capital based company dealing with bioenergy and renewable energy production. Two months ago, Metso announced a similar contract for the company’s Estonian location.

AS Graanul Invest was founded in 2003. The business evolved quickly and today the company claims to be the biggest producer of pellets in the Baltics, with a high production volume that puts it among the top five producers in Europe. Its primary raw material is sawdust from conifers stripped of bark as well as dry sawdust and shavings created as a byproduct of woodworking.


Caterpillar Inc and the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) have signed an agreement for the authority to purchase 17 generator sets powered by ‘Tier 4 Interim certified’ Cat C15 ACERT engines, as part of an ongoing effort at the Port of Savannah, Georgia, US, to upgrade older gantry cranes with cleaner technology.

Atlanta-based Cat dealer Yancey Bros will adapt the diesel generator sets with customized enclosures and mounts for installation into 17 cranes. The project is scheduled for completion within 12 months.

The repower project will replace the non-regulated and Tier 1 diesel generator sets originally installed on the cranes with advanced power generation equipment featuring cleaner, more efficient engines. To further reduce fuel consumption and emissions, the cranes will be outfitted with new controls that will automatically shift the engines between idle and higher operating speeds to meet variable load demands.

The use of the new Cat generator sets in the 17 cranes is expected to reduce emissions of NOx by more than 60% and emissions of particulate matter by more than 80%. Once complete, GPA expects the repower project to reduce total annual diesel fuel consumption by 130,000 gallons.


Mini-grids fed by hybridized renewable energy are a cost-effective, reliable and sustainable means of supplying power to rural communities, especially in populated isolated areas where grid extension is too costly. Mini-grids also compare favourably to diesel-based solutions in developing countries. These are the conclusions of a new study, financed by USAID and developed by the Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), which also demonstrates the market potential of mini-grids.

When compared with 100% diesel-based systems – currently the most-used solution for mini-grids – hybridized renewable energy offers lower operating costs, making electricity production more affordable. This is good news for rural communities, but it also opens new market perspectives for the private sector, says the study.

Simon Rolland, Secretary General of ARE commented, ‘What this study proves is that rural electrification with hybrid renewables mini-grids is not a vague, unrealistic option. The sector has matured to a point where it can easily attract investors and become self-reliable.’

The study presents a detailed overview of the technology and cost analysis from a life-cycle perspective as well as a complete socio-economic outline of the main existing business models for hybrid mini-grids. All this is supported by practical case studies and leads to key recommendations on project sustainability and private sector participation.


Cornell University’s central energy plant at its Ithaca, New York, campus has burned the last coal to create electricity and heat for the campus, reports the Cornell Daily Sun. The University’s Ithaca campus is now coal-free, in favour of natural gas being used in the CHP plant, following the success of the University’s ‘Moving Beyond Coal’ initiative.

In the autumn of 2009, Cornell launched the Climate Action Plan, a set of 19 initiatives that are currently being implemented to achieve net-zero emissions rates at the University by 2050.

Moving Beyond Coal was introduced to dramatically reduce the University’s carbon footprint – of which the largest single contributor was the emissions that resulted from burning coal for the institution.

According to the University’s Sustainable Campus website, on-site combustion of coal represented 56% of the 320,000 tonnes of Cornell’s greenhouse gas footprint in 2008.

Since the CHP plant – which was recently awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star award – began operating in January 2010, coal use had dropped from 60,000 tonnes down to only 6,000 tonnes a year, before the use of coal was phased out entirely in the recent environmental initiative.


Alstom Power has been awarded a €6 million contract to modernize the high pressure (HP) section of a 145 MW LMZ steam turbine at Oulu Energy’s Toppila unit 2 CHP/district heating plant in Oulu, Northern Finland.

Alstom’s scope includes a complete HP turbine retrofit, covering engineering, manufacturing, and transport-ation of the new HP module, as well as disassembly of the old module and erection and commissioning of the new module. The turbine retrofit will significantly improve the HP turbine’s efficiency and provide increased output. The replacement work at the site will be performed in July 2012.


What has been described as the first US solar district heating system, supported with $1 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding under DOE’s Solar America Communities programme, has been launched. District Energy St Paul provided matching funds and now operates the system, which heats water using 144 solar collectors atop St Paul, Minnesota’s downtown city convention centre. The water heats the convention centre and neighbouring buildings in North America’s largest hot water district heating system.


Babcock & Wilcox Vølund, the Denmark-based subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox, has been awarded a $35 million contract with Finland-based EkoKem to supply key equipment for a 36 MW waste-to-energy CHP plant in Riihimäki, Finland.

B&W Vølund will design, manufacture, deliver and construct the waste-to-energy plant’s heat recovery boiler using B&W’s patented ‘DynaGrate’ water-cooled combustion grate, burners, combustion air system, selective non-catalytic reduction system and other components. Engineering is underway at B&W Vølund’s Esbjerg, Denmark offices.

The plant is scheduled for completion prior to commissioning in the autumn of 2013.


UK-based on-site wind developer Wind Direct has achieved financial close on a project to install a 1.5 MW wind turbine to supply a Scottish manufacturer of ‘christmas trees’ used in the extraction of subsea oil and gas. Dunfermline-based FMC Technologies will receive green electricity direct from a single 100 m wind turbine for the next 25 years, beginning in autumn this year. The company employs over 650 people in Fife, Aberdeen and Glasgow, Scotland.

In achieving financial close, a turbine supply agreement has been signed with Spanish turbine manufacturer Acciona, with investment by Triodos Renewables and funding by Triodos Bank.


The UK CHP Association has welcomed the government’s Department for Energy and Climate Change proposals for a new incentive to expand the market for renewable heat supplies – the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI). The proposals could pave the way for a new expansion of bioenergy-fuelled CHP plant in buildings and industry, says the association.

Graham Meeks, Director of the CHPA, said: ‘By placing an explicit value on renewable heat supplies, we hope to see an end to the wasteful practices that see much of our precious bioenergy resources dumped into the atmosphere through cooling towers. The key to progress across the market lies in the value of the incentive. We welcome the government’s commitment to CHP and the undertaking to look carefully at how the RHI and the (existing) Renewables Obligation work together to mobilize renewable CHP across the market.’


American DG Energy, which styles itself as an ‘on site utility’, has been recognized for the fifth consecutive year by the US Environmental Protection Agency CHP Partnership for the carbon emissions reductions of the company’s CHP systems.

The company, a member of the CHP Partnership, was presented with a greenhouse gas reduction certificate, which states that the high efficiency of its CHP systems prevented an estimated 22,000 tonnes of carbon equivalents compared to typical energy supply systems.

‘With every CHP system we add to our fleet, our carbon emissions reductions increase,’ said John N Hatsopoulos, chief executive officer of American DG Energy. ‘As we expand our on-site utility into the UK and Europe and add our new emissions reduction technology, those emissions reductions will become even greater.’

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