NY State Electric & Gas Corp. (NYSEGC)
Expected retirement of central generating plants in New York State will create the need for new generating capacity additions. Technical advances have increased the interest in distributed generation technologies which produce electric power on-site at required capacity increments, and without the need for upgrading or adding transmission lines. Anticipated advantages are improvement in power quality and system reliability. A distributed generation technology of interest for commercial and industrial applications is the microturbine which uses rotating components of a small gas turbine-driven generator (30 - 250 kW) to generate electric power. Waste heat from the microturbine can be recovered to increase overall fuel-use efficiency. When fired with natural gas, microturbines are expected to be in compliance with current environmental regulations.
The project will install and demonstrate microturbine distributed generation technology at several commercial/industrial sites within the NYSEG utility service territory. The project will assess equipment installation, operating performance, and system reliability.
NYSEG will procure, install, operate, and test available microturbines from as many manufacturers as possible. A test center will be designed and constructed at NYSEG's Kirkwood Industrial Park facility to evaluate equipment performance prior to installation at commercial/industrial sites.
The project will determine performance characteristics of available microturbines, both under laboratory conditions, and in commercial service. The information obtained will be helpful for designing microturbine distributed generation systems at other sites in New York State.
Schedule and Status
NYSEG was able to procure five Capstone 30 kW and two Honeywell Parallon 75 kW microturbines. GE-Elliott 40kW and NREC (now Ingersoll-Rand Power Systems) 70 kW PowerWorks machines were not available for this project. Three Capstones were installed and tested at NYSEG's Kirkwood test facility as were the two Honeywell Parallon 75s. Two of the three Capstones tested at NYSEG are currently being tested at Intertek Testing Services in Cortland. The remaining two Capstones are still in shipping crates. NYSEG has experienced difficulties in finding suitable commercial demonstration sites for the microturbines. The high cost of natural gas this past winter makes it imperative that waste heat is effectively utilized when the machines generate power. Discussions are ongoing with two potential sites.