(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. 


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

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...

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.