Old Chatham Sheepherding Microturbine

Old Chatham Sheepherding Company, Old Chatham, NY


About two-thirds of national electric energy is consumed in residential and commercial buildings. Changes that improve the efficiency of electric generating equipment will have significant cost reduction and beneficial environmental impacts. In the evolving distributed power generation market, microturbines are a commercially viable option.

The advantages of microturbines over diesel engine generators include longer life and maintenance cycles, a smaller physical size-to-power ratio, and lower noise and emission levels. Fuel cells have lower noise and emission levels than microturbines, but are further from commercial availability, and have lower power density. Efficiency of unrecuperated microturbines is low at around 15 percent. With recuperation, efficiency is increased to 30 percent, but the remaining fuel energy is discarded. One way to recover a significant portion of this wasted energy is through cogeneration, such as hot water production for heating or process use.


The project objective is to design, install, and operate a microturbine cogeneration system to produce electric power and hot water for on-site processing equipment.


A microturbine cogeneration system design for the Old Chatham Sheepherders creamery and cheese production facility will be developed and evaluated. After the technical and economic evaluation, a decision will be made to either continue with equipment procurement and installation, or to end the project.


The propane-fueled microturbine cogeneration system is expected to reduce operating costs at the creamery and cheese production facility, and could provide the incentive for increasing production and employment at the site.

Schedule and Status

The project will be conducted in two phases. A Phase I Engineering and Economic Evaluation study followed by a decision point before proceeding with equipment procurement and installation.

Last Updated: 07/01/2014