Don’t throw away the cow dung – call BMW

BMW AG’s car-assembly plant in South Africa is doing its bit to help the German carmaker edge toward a global target to supply all its production with renewable energy: It’s getting some of its power from cow manure.

The company has agreed to a 10-year deal to buy as much as 4.4 megawatts of electricity from a biogas plant about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from its factory north-west of Pretoria, the South African capital. Surrounded by land where about 30,000 cattle graze, the operation runs off gas emitted by a fetid mixture of dung and organic waste ranging from sour yogurt to discarded dog food.

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Army to Build $40 Million Cogeneration Plant

Energy Manager Today – The US Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) plans to build a $40 million combined heat and power (CHP) plant that will meet 80 percent of APG’s energy needs, writes the Baltimore Sun. The CHP, or cogeneration, system will provide both steam and electricity to the facility, generating $4.4 million in annual energy savings and helping to meet an executive order for more efficient energy use. The system will use a gas-fired generator and recycle the waste heat created in the process, which will be used to create steam. The facility currently relies on steam from a nearby waste incineration facility that is set to be decommissioned.

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Understanding cogeneration systems

CSEMAG – Cogeneration systems, also known as combined heat and power (CHP) systems, generate both electricity and usable thermal energy. CHP systems provide a cost-effective method of reducing operating costs, increasing electrical reliability, and reducing greenhouse gases. A CHP system simultaneously converts mechanical work to electrical energy (in most cases) and produces useful heat. The efficiency of a CHP is approximately twice that of a standard utility electric-generating station, because the excess heat from the process is used beneficially in lieu of being dissipated to ambient air. These cogeneration systems, typically used on campuses with high heat load requirements (i.e., colleges, hospitals, and industrial campuses), offer efficiency, ease of system maintenance, and sustainable design opportunities.

CHP plant projects prioritize reliability, efficiency, sustainability, flexibility, and resiliency. CHP offers institutional, industrial, and commercial building owners a well-established means of increasing energy efficiency, decreasing risk of power outages (redundancy through islanding capability), reducing energy-related costs, and reducing greenhouse gas and air-pollutant emissions. The technologies that comprise U.S. capacity broadly align with applications determined by such characteristics as size, efficiency, capital and O&M costs, start-up time, availability, durability, system complexity, and emissions control. Fluency in the details of CHP systems and their performance is the starting point for effective application. While CHP has been around for more than a century, part of its renewed relevance today lies in its role as a vital part of energy projects seeking cleaner, greener energy.

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US government provides $55m towards CHP projects

COSPP – The US Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) is investing $55 million (£34.65m) in combined heat and power (CHP) and biomass projects.

The funding will be divided in two different programmes.

The GENerators for Small Electrical and Thermal Systems (GENSETS) project is receiving $25 million (£15.9m) to make CHP systems affordable and more efficient.

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British business lobby criticises government over on-site power complexity

COSPP – The Confederation of Business Industries says that the British government is at fault for failing to maximise the potential of on-site power generation in the UK.

A report from the CBI highlights the growing number of businesses in the country that are reaping the benefits of on-site power.

The number of businesses that generate their own electricity is set to more than double by 2030, according to the research but the report also found that a “lack of clear and coherent” government framework makes corporate on-site power generation more challenging than it should be.

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Cogeneration body concerned at omission of CHP

COSPP – COGEN Europe chief Fiona Riddoch has expressed her concern at the failure of the European Commission to include power and heating in its ‘Summer Package’ announcement this week.

The announcement provided detail on next steps for the Energy Union and Riddoch says clearer links needed to be made between power and heating & cooling.

The European Commission  Summer Package  (comprising a Communication on a new energy market design, a communication on a new deal for energy consumers, a proposal for the review of the energy labelling directive and a proposal for EU-ETS 2021-2030) aims at advancing the thinking on how to address  important issues in the  existing EU legislative landscape, preparing the way for a legislative cycle in 2016.

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Ambitious on-site power plan for UK’s biggest turkey farmer

COSPP – Bernard Matthews turkey farms has launched a programme to become 100 per cent green energy self-sufficient by 2016.

The programme is delivering nine large on-site wind turbines, two solar farms covering 90 acres, the UK’s largest single biomass project with 229 155-199kw boilers, an anaerobic digestion plant, a £3.6m investment in energy efficient technologies in its factories and another 2 MW biomass plant for a feed mill. It is also developing a second 500m³/hour anaerobic plant to supply gas to the national grid.

The Guardian reports that the UK’s largest turkey farmer has built biomass boilers to heat its 248 sheds.

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Ethanol production to fuel California CHP

Cogeneration and on-site power production – Renewable fuels producer Pacific Ethanol, Inc has signed a deal with Dresser-Rand for the installation of a 3.5 MW cogeneration system with gradual oxidizer at its Stockton plant (pictured) in California, in the western US.

The deal, worth approximately $12 million, will see Ener-Core, Inc’s gradual oxidizer technology convert waste gas from ethanol production and natural gas into electricity and steam.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dresser-Rand will supply two 1.75 MW gas turbine generators with heat recovery steam generators and two gradual oxidizers manufactured by Ener-Core. Pacific Ethanol expects the cogeneration system to be operational by the second quarter of 2016.

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