FuelCell Energy Assists Largest Grower of Fresh-cut Onions
Aug. 24, Danbury – FuelCell Energy, Inc., a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean electric power plants for commercial, industrial and government customers announced this week that Gills Onions, the largest year-round grower and processor of fresh-cut onions, has purchased two Direct FuelCell(R) 300 MA (DFC(R)) power plants that will reduce the company's energy costs by using biogas created from onion peel waste products to generate electricity. This will also lower Gills’ waste disposal expenses.
"Gills Onions and FuelCell Energy are providing a truly innovative solution for the fresh-cut industry's waste disposal headache," said Steven Gill, Partner, Gills Onions. "Since pioneering the fresh-cut industry with our ready-to-eat onions, vegetables and salads, we have been looking for alternatives to composting our waste. Years of research and then connecting with FuelCell Energy have provided a breakthrough where the raw vegetable waste can be converted into electricity, thereby reducing greenhouse emissions, eliminating costly offsite waste disposal, reducing our energy needs, and making a new model for sustaining California agriculture. 'Waste not, want not' sums up the conservation and farming philosophy of the Gill family."
As a result of their high efficiency, DFC power plants require less fuel per unit of power output and result in lower operating costs. In addition, the plants meet the stringent air quality standards set by California Air Resources Board (CARB) 2007. Air quality is particularly important in this farming region of California, which boasts some of the toughest air standards in the country and leaves many processing facilities at risk for non-attainment of their air pollution goals.
"Many in the fresh produce industry recognize Steven and David Gill as innovators in advancing the efficiency of processing fresh produce through their embrace of technology," said Bruce Ludemann, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for FuelCell Energy. "The recent heat wave that triggered record electric demand and caused brownouts or voluntary reduction in power use (demand response programs) has accelerated Gills Onions decision to install onsite power generation to ensure its critical business applications have access to reliable power."
Source: FuelCell Energy, Inc.
UTC Helps Alaska Open First Geothermal Plant
August 18, Washington, U.S. Newswire – Chena Hot Springs Resort/Chena Power and Hartford based United Technologies have announced the successful commissioning and startup of the first geothermal power plant in Alaska. Chena Hot Springs, just outside Fairbanks, is the first geothermal power plant to come on-line in the state. It is now also the site of the lowest temperature resource (165 F) ever used for commercial power generation in the world, noted Bernie Karl, proprietor of the resort.
An official ribbon cutting ceremony and dedication of the 200 kW geothermal power plant is scheduled for Aug. 20, with Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens and Gov. Frank Murkowski scheduled to be among those participating. The dedication will be the highlight of the 1st Annual Chena Renewable Energy Fair which offers free to the public workshops, site and project tours, and vendors displays representing the range of renewable energy technologies.
Chena is the first geothermal distributed generation project, allowing the resort to meet its power needs without relying on a utility grid, and is expected to open the door for similar projects at spas, greenhouses and other geothermal sites around the world. "Chena will be the first of many such applications in Alaska and other states," noted Karl Gawell of the Geothermal Energy Association. "As technology advances to allow lower temperature generation, it will dramatically expand the potential for new geothermal power development."
The Chena Hot Springs geothermal power plant is currently operating as the base load for the site, and United Technologies representatives are on hand completing performance tests by varying the hot and cold water flow rates. The Chena power plant is running off 162.5 F hot water from a 700-foot deep well. The cooling water source is from a cold water well at a higher elevation than the power plant, and is delivered via siphon (gravity feed). This means no pump is needed to move the cold water through the power plant, reducing the parasitic load on the plant.
For more information on the Fair or the power plant, visit Chena's project website at www.yourownpower.com.
Source: U.S. Newswire
New Office of Brownfields Remediation & Development
August 8, Waterbury – In a ceremony in Waterbury at the beginning of August, Governor M. Jodi Rell signed a bill establishing an office, The Office of Brownfields Remediation & Development, to help towns identify, clean up, and redevelop brownfield sites. The lawestablishes a “one-stop shop,” for property owners and potential property owners to facilitate compliance with state and federal clean up requirements and qualification for state funds.
Along the same time, the Connecticut Brownfields Redevelopment Authority (CBRA), which was formed in 1999 at the direction of the Connecticut State Legislature (Public Act 01-179, Section SB 823), announced that it has improved and enhanced its web site, www.ctbrownfields.com. Among the website’s features is that visitors can more easily search Connecticut’s available brownfields properties. CBRA is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Connecticut Development Authority.
A brownfield is an economically underutilized parcel of land that sits unused due to issues with contamination, blight, or other environmental issues. Brownfields, often old manufacturing sites, can be perfect for many new uses. But the added and uncertain costs of remediating the site can make many potential projects too risky and complex for development. To that end the CBRA has developed programs that encourage brownfields redevelopment by reducing costs, eliminating environmental uncertainty and simplifying the regulatory process.
For more information please visit www.ctbrownfields.com.