(Even)More Efficient CHP with Capstone MicroTurbines

Microturbine iCHP systems have just gotten more efficient thanks to recent innovations by Capstone Turbine.

The 65kW iCHP system now has ten percent more heat recovery, enabling total system efficiencies upwards of eighty percent.

Additionally, the new C200 Signature Series microturbine now has its own iCHP version, joining the C65, C600S, C800S and C1000S iCHP models. 

C200S

Our customers have more CHP options than ever before, and can generate more energy than ever before. 

Mass Communities Can Receive Microgrid Feasibility Studies

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is launching the Community Microgrids Program, seeking to catalyze the development of community microgrids throughout Massachusetts to lower customer energy costs, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and provide increased energy resilience.
 
MassCEC is soliciting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from groups interested in receiving a feasibility assessments for a community microgrid project in Massachusetts. The Request for EOIs will help MassCEC and other stakeholders identify projects which are attractive to the relevant local authorities, electric and/or gas utility, and have a strong likelihood of success.

EOIs are due Friday, June 23, 2017 by 4:00pm.
An informational webinar will be held on June 1 from 2:30 to 3:30 P.M. Please visit the MassCEC website for full details on the Community Microgrids Program EOI.

Island Institute Delegation Visits Microturbine Plant on Monhegan Island

On April 29, we helped our customer the Monhegan Plantation Power District (MPPD) host a large delegation led by the Island Institute as part of the 2017 Island Energy Conference.

This 260kW diesel-fired microturbine array has been powering the island since summer 2016, having replaced an antiquated and polluting generator plant that had been in service since the late 1990’s. 

MPPD needed a low-maintenance and low-emission option to comply with EPA Tier IV requirements, reduce lube oil consumption and maintenance. 

Four Capstone’s C65 Liquid Fuel units in Stand Alone are the backbone of this microturbine-solarPV microgrid.  In the next phase of the project, hot water recovered from the Capstones will be piped to nearby buildings for heating and dehumidification. 

Hats off to MPPD and Island Institute for a great event!

Recent Canada Installs, Partners and Projects

In honor of the Toronto Blue Jays, who are headed to the American League Championship Series...

Vergent Power has been incredibly busy growing our business in Eastern Canada since 2014, and we wanted to share some recent highlights.

In Ontario, we have been helping customers to take advantage of the Province’s new CHP incentive, which can be used to help defray costs to install highly-efficient CHP plants.  Recent microturbine installs include a 65kW system at a St. Catharine’s apartment building, and a 260kW system for a Toronto condo building.  Both microturbine plants are capable of powering and heating the buildings if the utility grid fails.  The latter plant is provided to the condo building under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement, through our Canadian PPA provider, Magnolia Generation.  The building is managed by Brookfield, a major global property company.

We also recently received an order for Ontario’s first microturbine biogas project.  Vergent Power will supply a 65kW microturbine together with a gas conditioning system from Unison Solutions to run off of the digester gas from the Collingwood wastewater treatment plant.

Ontario ratepayers are experiencing significant increases in their power bills, which is fueling the interest in CHP among businesses.  Customers there also want protection from grid insecurity, which makes Capstone’s “Dual Mode” microturbines an optimal solution to add backup power capacity while reducing energy costs. 

In order to amplify our outreach to Ontario customers, we have partnered with Whitby Hydro Energy Services Corp., the energy management and engineering arm of an Ontario-based power utility, since 2015.  Together, our companies are developing more than twenty highly-efficient CHP projects throughout the multi-unit residential, commercial and industrial markets.  The first installations from this partnership will take place later this year.

Meanwhile, Vergent Power has restored many older microturbine plants to service in Ontario, including a 90kW CHP installed at a utility company and two 130kW plants owned by Union Gas, the largest gas provider in Ontario with over 7 million customers.  We are deepening our service resources in Canada with additional Ontario-based technicians.   

Our work goes beyond Ontario.  Building upon a recent 65kW install in Nova Scotia with LPP Combustion, we are working with Gridstor Energy in the Atlantic provinces to target factories, breweries, hospitals and other customers that could benefit from a simultaneous fuel switch from fuel oil to propane, and adoption of CHP technology.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian partners and customers.  Good luck Jays!

Ramsey Espertin Joins Vergent Power as Field Service Engineer

We are very pleased to welcome Ramsey Espertin as our newest Field Service Engineer (FSE).  FSE’s are the first responders to any customer issue and they are critical to our company’s success. 

Ramsey will work out of our Boston-area office and report to Sumner Bachman, VP of Technical Services.

Ramsey joins Vergent Power after many years working directly for Capstone Turbine, where he provided service support on microturbine systems around the world.  He is a seasoned tech with loads of experience and will be an immediate asset to Vergent’s service capabilities.  In fact, he is now the third Vergent team member with deep, first-hand experience gained working for the Capstone factory directly. 

Welcome, Ramsey!

CHP Dollars Are Coming to Illinois

Illinois has historically been home to relatively low electricity rates, making it a challenging market for CHP.  Now, thanks to a new CHP incentive program by Commonwealth Edison (“ComEd”), the economics for CHP projects will get a significant boost.

Specific details are yet to be published by ComEd, but Vergent Power has learned that the incentive will have the following outline:

  • $0.07 per kWh generated to help offset project cost (this would equate to approximately $600,000 in incentive dollars annually for a megawatt CHP).
  • Up to $25,000 to go toward a feasibility study performed by pre-approved third party assessment providers.
  • Up to $25,000 for interconnection costs.

This program is a very gratifying development for us, as we have been working for years with the Midwest Cogeneration Association to push for a pro-CHP climate in Illinois.

See below map showing ComEd’s service territory, which comprises more than 11,000 square miles in and near the Chicago-land area.

Source:  www.comed.com

Source:  www.comed.com

Contact us today if you are a ComEd customer interested in CHP for your facility.

Despite Volatility in Energy Markets, Microturbine Market Will Grow to $1B by 2020

This, according to independent research group Navigant Research.

Growth will be led by the oil and gas industry and increased utilization of microturbines in new CHP and CCHP systems among industrial and commercial customers, the report says.

No doubt about it, the global economy, and energy markets in particular, have been very volatile.  Oil is down, the US dollar is strong, and major markets such as Russia are experiencing significant downturn.  These macro trends have produced headwinds on a global scale for many innovative energy manufacturers.

However, what we at Vergent Power are seeing on a local level in our daily business in the northern and eastern parts of the US and Canada is an increasing interest for Capstone microturbine systems, particularly for CHP and CCHP applications.  The factors driving this interest are rising electricity costs, stable natural gas pricing and desire for company or facility-level energy security – none of which are likely to go away in the foreseeable future.

Eventually, these projects will break ground and demonstrate the momentum predicted in Navigant’s report.

Click here for a summary of Navigant’s report.

Vergent Power Speaks to International Consortium of Utility Companies

Last week in Chicago, we were part of a CHP-themed panel discussion at the Consortium for Energy Efficiency (CEE).  CEE is composed of energy efficiency managers at leading North American utility companies - you can view their membership directory here.

Our message was simple – CHP should be an arrow in utilities’ quiver as they try to manage a complex myriad of challenges including grid outages, energy efficiency targets, federal obligations, clean power mandates and ratepayer demands.

Historically, the CHP industry and utilities may have been at odds, especially since the onset of PURPA, which required certain power providers to purchase CHP-produced energy since the 1970’s.

Today, the world is a much different place.  Domestic natural gas is abundant, climate change is regarded seriously by many in government, businesses and the public alike, and decades of deregulation have transformed who provides energy and how.

It’s time for the CHP industry and the utility industry to work together to tackle these challenges.  We look forward to continued collaboration with CEE going forward.

On a related note, stay tuned for the upcoming public release of ComEd’s new CHP incentive for Illinois...

Debate at Ronald Reagan Library...Powered by Capstone Microturbines

American technology powering the Presidential Library

American technology powering the Presidential Library

Many Americans, as well as people around the world, witnessed the Republican Presidential debate tonight at the iconic Ronald Reagan Library.  Putting aside the politics inherent in the event, this historic night was powered by Capstone microturbines. 

This innovative American technology provides 95 percent of the Presidential Library’s energy using sixteen Capstone microturbines producing not only electricity (nearly one megawatt), but also heating and cooling for the pavilion which houses the late President’s Air Force One airplane, among other historical pieces.

The CCHP system, installed in 2006 – nearly ten years ago – continues to provide savings and environmental benefits to the Southern California facility. 

The jet engine generators were invented and manufactured less than 20 miles away in Capstone’s state-of-the-art factory – a testament to the brilliance of American technology.

We at Vergent Power are proud to be part of this American tradition. 

You can see one case study of the project here.

New England Suffers Storm-Related Blackouts...Need for Microgrids Clearer than Ever

This recent article by our friends at Microgrid Knowledge calls for distributed generation as a means to keep the lights on during extreme weather events like this past week’s storms in Rhode Island and Massachusetts where nearly 150,000 lost power, some for as many as four days.

We see the same trend picking up speed in Ontario where we are currently working with dozens of businesses to develop and design microturbine CHP systems capable of standalone power generation when the grid goes down.

Back in the U.S., the Clean Power Plan, recently announced by the Obama Administration, seeks to accelerate deployment of microgrids because distributed generation can not only enhance resiliency, it can also result in decreased emissions because of microgrids’ higher energy efficiency and incorporation of renewable energy.

It’s hard to argue with the benefits of localized, hardened energy infrastructure.  Increasingly, utilities are recognizing that microgrids can be part of their network rather than competition.  This is a welcome and necessary change; we hope it continues and becomes policy for more utilities.

If you want to keep abreast of these microgrid developments, we suggest you sign up for Microgrid Knowledge’s free newsletter here

 

 

 

Mission-Critical / Microturbine / Microgrid...in Minnesota!

Vergent Power is bringing the first “big box” Capstone MicroTurbine to Minnesota.  The 600-kilowatt package will power, heat and cool the new Open Access Technology International data center being built in the Twin Cities.

Not only is the microturbine the energy backbone of this mission critical facility, but it will operate in a microgrid with other renewable sources of energy – wind and solar – as well as energy storage.  If the power grid fails, the microturbine will carry the facility’s load through the outage.

Check out the joint Capstone / OATI press release - click here.

microturbinemicrogrid

OATI (www.oati.com) is on the cutting edge of energy technology and their new facility will be a showcase of what is sure to be a growing application in the data center market.


Trendy St. Paul Apartments Kick Off Nine Year Maintenance Plan

Back in November, we commissioned the first new microturbine project in Minnesota in recent memory at the beautifully revamped Schmidt Brewery.  Now dubbed the Schmidt Artists Lofts, the modernized landmark is home to a vibrant live/work community of creatives – and to a brand new microturbine CHP system in the basement.

The sixty-five kilowatt “jet engine” produces electricity and thermal energy around the clock.  The plant has run without interruption since we hit start back in November. 

Vergent Power’s “Factory Protection Plan” is providing full maintenance coverage through 2024.  The plan includes all parts and labor for all planned and unplanned maintenance for 9 years. 

More importantly, we are showing that small-scale CHP is a viable solution in Minnesota.  For a long time Minnesotans have enjoyed relatively low electricity prices.  Today, electricity is getting more and more expensive while natural gas remains an attractive alternative thanks to an abundance of domestic supply. 

Soon we will make our biggest Minnesota announcement yet...the first C1000 package in the state.  Stay tuned!

CHP a Great Fit for Hospitals

Today we had the honor of presenting to a group of senior healthcare executives at the Healthcare IT Transformation Assembly 2015 in Houston, Texas.  The message was clear: Combined Heat and Power (CHP) is a way for hospitals to reduce their energy costs with reliable baseload power and thermal energy while also serving their sustainability initiatives.

According to the DOE, approximately 300 hospitals across the country have installed a CHP system.  Why is CHP ideal for hospitals?  Because energy consumption at these facilities is 24/7/365, and because electric and thermal loads are both stable and coincidental.  A right-sized CHP system can deliver very favorable Return on Investment, and these saved resources can be reinvested into improved patient care.

You can see our presentation from today’s seminar by clicking here.

ALERT - New England Power Market Needs More Capacity

An article in yesterday’s Union Leader very succinctly summarizes the power shortages facing New England. 

http://www.unionleader.com/article/20150205/NEWS02/150209540&source=RSS

Power plant closings have left a gaping whole in the region’s electricity supply that will affect ratepayers in the medium and long term.  We can only expect power prices to rise in order to address the current shortages. 

Onsite combined heat and power (CHP) is one way that New England businesses can control the threat of rising energy prices.  With natural gas supply as abundant and historically inexpensive as it is today, the time has never been better for CHP.  That’s why we recently sent nearly 1,000 Massachusetts companies and organizations an offer to receive a free energy analysis as part of our Mass CHP Campaign.

Get started saving money today by letting Vergent Power conduct a free energy analysis on your facility.  Click on http://www.vergentpower.com/massachusetts-microturbine-chp.

 

VPS Featured in Bakken Buyer’s Guide

VPS is pleased to be featured in the inaugural edition of the North Dakota Petroleum Council Buyer’s Guide. 

According to the NPDC, “The Buyer’s Guide provides NDPC members and other industry professionals with an efficient way to browse for goods and services.  The Buyer’s Guide also offers oil and gas suppliers and companies exceptional visibility by showcasing their products and services to a targeted, industry-specific buyer group.”

Capstone MicroTurbines are a great fit for providing clean and reliable power from oilfield waste gas.  Oil producers in the Bakken are getting better at capturing associated gas, but about 30% of produced gas is still flared. 

We’ve all heard about the falling price of oil.  More efficient capture and use of flare gas in places like the Bakken is a win-win.  VPS is excited to be part of the solution in the Bakken.

Please type in keyword “Vergent” visit at www.ndoilgasbuyersguide.com/search.aspx.

We’re Growing in New England

Vergent Power now has a new office in New England.  The larger Waltham, MA location will house sales and service operations for our growing operations in the Northeast. 

We are maintaining nearly 40 microturbines in New England and interest from new customers continues to grow.  Vergent Power is soon launching a campaign to introduce microturbine technology to Massachusetts’ largest energy consumers.  In the coming weeks we will reach out to over 300 MA-based companies and institutions in an effort to reduce their energy costs with clean and reliable microturbine technology. 

Microturbines are an ideal solution in Massachusetts where electricity prices continue to rise and the Capstone product easily meets the state’s stringent emissions regulations.  Customers that install Microturbine Combined Heat and Power systems can also be eligible for incentives – our team helps customers maximize these programs to the benefit of their bottom line.

Most of all, we are very pleased to announce our newest team member, Mike Savage.  Mike will work out of the Waltham office and is spearheading the Massachusetts campaign as well as other new business development activities in New England.  Welcome, Mike!

To learn more about the MA campaign, please contact msavage@vergentpower.com.

 

 

Twenty Turbines Under Contract!

It has been awhile since our last post – we’ve been very busy growing our company and expanding the reach of microturbines throughout the US and Canada.

We are proud to announce that in just 6 short months we have put our 20th Capstone MicroTurbine™ under long term service agreement.

The Factory Protection Plan (“FPP”) is a long-term maintenance package, backed by the Capstone factory and implemented by its specialized and certified Distributors.  For up to 15 years, Vergent Power will guarantee the cost of all microturbine maintenance.  This is the only such program in our industry that covers ALL parts, ALL labor, and EVERYTHING planned and unplanned.  Even the 40,000-hour turbine engine overhaul is included in the FPP.

The FPP gives our customers peace of mind and the confidence of knowing exactly what the “M” in “O&M” will cost for a decade to come.

Some of our FPP customers are new plants and some are old plants that have been running for years.  We especially enjoy bringing 10-year old turbines back to life and placing them under our care for another 10 years.  This would only be possible with a great product like the Capstone MicroTurbine™!

We Are Hiring! Service Engineer Wanted!

Vergent Power Solutions, the exclusive distributor for Capstone Turbine in the Upper Midwest and New England, is seeking a dynamic and knowledgeable technical service professional to fill its Service Engineer position.  This position will be based out of Vergent Power’s Boston-area office.  This position has potential for growth into a Service Manager role in the future.

The Service Engineer Duties and Responsibilities Are:

  • To help coordinate the service-related activities of Vergent Power for its end-user microturbine customers;
  • To perform maintenance, troubleshooting and repair of microturbines, heat recovery equipment, gas compressors and control systems;
  • To document all work in multiple computer formats as required by Vergent Power, OEM Capstone Turbine, the customer, and others;
  • To maintain the needed spare parts inventory to keep Vergent Power’s customers running; and
  • To be trained and certified by the Capstone Turbine factory in addition to several months of hands-on training in the field.

The Service Engineer’s Should Have the Following Skills and Experience:

  • Minimum 3-5 years field experience in power generation, electronics, control systems or other disciplines related to gas turbine energy equipment;
  • Military and/or a technical degree or certificate(s) in electrical, mechanical or controls engineering;
  • Specific experience with inverter-based power electronics, combined heat and power (CHP), and/or oil & gas production and transmission a plus;
  • Ability to read and interpret electrical and mechanical drawings;
  • Proficiency with PLC programming and sufficient IT networking skills;
  • Ability and enthusiasm to travel to remote locations on short notice;
  • Desire and enthusiasm for learning new technologies;
  • Interpersonal skills to deal with customers professionally and courteously;
  • Desire to grow into a leadership role after demonstrating professional growth;
  • Ability to perform daily duties without little direction once properly trained;
  • Ability to organize, prioritize and execute a large number of complex tasks;
  • Familiarity with hand tools and test equipment;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
  • Attention to detail so that mistakes are not commonly made or repeated;
  • A good driving history and be insurable; and
  • A desire to be and integral part of a growing start-up business.

If you are a proven leader that wants to be part of a dynamic, fast-growing company in the exciting microturbine energy field – and your skills and experience are a good match for this position – please send your resume and short cover letter to jrathke@vergentpower.com with “Service Engineer” in the subject line.

 

About Vergent Power Solutions:

Vergent Power Solutions (www.vergentpower.com) is the exclusive distributor for Capstone Turbine in the Upper Midwest and New England.  We are microturbine experts.  Microturbine energy is our passion.  We work together with our customers and project partners to complete energy projects that exceed expectations.  We take pride in providing American clean energy technology that delivers economic return, hardens infrastructure, and makes our world a better place.  Vergent Power Solutions was formed in 2014 for the sole purpose of bringing Capstone microturbine products to market and providing best-in-class, long-term service to microturbine users in our territory. 

About Capstone Turbine:

Capstone Turbine Corporation (www.capstoneturbine.com) (Nasdaq: CPST) is the world's leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems and was the first to market commercially viable microturbine energy products. Capstone Turbine has shipped approximately 8,000 Capstone MicroTurbine systems to customers worldwide. These award-winning systems have logged more than 60 million documented runtime operating hours. Capstone Turbine is a member of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Combined Heat and Power Partnership, which is committed to improving the efficiency of the nation's energy infrastructure and reducing emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases. A UL-Certified ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004 certified company, Capstone is headquartered in the Los Angeles area with sales and/or service centers in the New York Metro Area, United Kingdom, Mexico City, Shanghai and Singapore.

Power-Gen International Looks at Resiliency & Microgrids

Greetings!

Another busy week last week for Vergent Power.  Much of it spent out in the field with our existing customer base in New England like the Mass Maritime Academy, Stonyfield Yogurt and TACO HVAC.  We’re proud to be getting these great companies and institutions under Vergent Power long-term service contracts.

I also spent a day with the Power-Gen International Steering Committee, of which I am proud to have been a member for the past five years.  Together with some very impressive industry leaders, we helped to assemble the Power-Gen International Conference this December in Orlando. 

The Onsite Power Committee put together three very exciting sessions on the topics of microgrids, resiliency of distributed generation against weather-related power outages, and how cheap and abundant natural gas is changing the power gen landscape.  I am very impressed with this year’s batch of speakers, which organizer PennWell will announce soon.

And Vergent Power will soon be announcing some new positions for which we are hiring...

Vergent Power's Flare Gas Solution

Greetings!

Vergent Power and Capstone Turbine just returned from a week in the Bakken shale area.  It’s simply amazing to see the level of activity brought on by shale exploration in a once quiet corner of the North Dakota prairie.

The other phenomenon we witnessed was an abundance of gas flaring.  Nearly every well pad seemed to have a flare.  Oil producers are under pressure to reduce or eliminate flaring from government, the media, the public, and their own pocketbooks.  Gas flares not only pollute the air; they also represent a significant economic loss to the oil companies themselves.  Instead of flaring, associated gas could be brought to market or used onsite to produce power in place of high-cost diesel fuel.

Microturbines are an ideal solution for flare gas, and for the Bakken area in particular.  Microturbines, unlike many other power generators, can run on the rich gas found in the Bakken.  In fact, microturbines can reliably and efficiently run on propane, which can have an energy content that is up to three times higher than natural gas.  Because of our patented air-bearing technology and the fact that there is only one moving part in the turbine, there is only six hours of scheduled maintenance on average per year.  That is a critical benefit for remote areas, and in places where labor is at a premium, as it is in North Dakota right now.

The energy companies we talked to were hungry for new solutions.  Vergent Power and Capstone will also be working closely with groups such as the North Dakota Petroleum Council and the Energy and Environment Research Center to promote microturbines to as wide an audience as possible in order to get this innovative yet proven technology deployed in the Bakken. 

Vergent Power is incredibly excited to be part of what we think is a fundamental shift in the approach towards flare gas in the USA. 

Stay tuned for more updates on Vergent Power’s activities in the Bakken, coming soon!