Microturbines Are a Gas Flaring Solution

Vergent Power Solutions is pleased to see the oil and gas industry take a firmer approach to the issue of gas flaring.  As the rising price of oil enables more activity in areas such as the Bakken in North Dakota, we want to be part of the solution to gas waste and pollution.

This article is worth reading as it shows the connection between oil and gas activity and flare gas capture in the Bakken - http://bismarcktribune.com/news/state-and-regional/as-oil-production-grows-new-construction-buildout-expected/article_d945b365-a608-565a-8377-fd4b1407a425.html

Vergent Power recently joined the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s Gas Flaring Task Force.  We hope to have the opportunity to educate its members on how microturbine technology can assist their efforts to turn gas flares into a usable power generation fuel, thereby reducing carbon-creating, wasteful flares. 

We’ll be exhibiting at this year’s Williston Basin Petroleum Conference in Bismarck in May.  Come see us!

(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.

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!

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.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    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!

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...

Welcome to vergentpower.com!

We are very pleased to announce the creation of Vergent Power Solutions, Inc.  Vergent Power is a new company that is 100% dedicated to implementing successful microturbine projects and to providing best-in-class service to the existing installed fleet in our territory.  I started the company after working for six years at Capstone Turbine, most recently as the Vice President for Sales in charge of the Americas, Africa and the Middle East.  I bring with me some top-notch technical talent from the Factory. 

Microturbines are an exciting and proven technology with over 60 million operating hours across the world. I have personally been involved in projects in some unbelievable places - on tops of skyscrapers, in the jungles of the rainforest, at altitudes in excess of 8,000 feet, in the hottest deserts and in the coldest tundras, the list goes on and on.  The Capstone microturbine is the only product that uses air bearings in the hot section of a turbine.  The air bearing means that the microturbine uses no oil, no coolants and spins at 96,000 rpm! 

At Vergent Power we excel at three core activities:

  1. Being microturbine experts.    
  2. Working collaboratively with project partners to help them integrate this amazing technology into great projects.    
  3. Standing behind the product for the long term by providing best-in-class service for the life of the microturbine.

We are grateful to Capstone Turbine for selecting us to represent their technology in the Upper Midwest and New England.  We look forward to bringing microturbine energy to your business soon.

Stay tuned for more exciting news from www.vergentpower.com!

Sincerely,

Justin Rathke
President and Founder