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Microturbine Cogeneration Facility

Microturbine cogeneration technology lowers costs while advancing efficient, clean, and reliable energy.
  • Micoturbine cogeneration facility with two 65 kilowatt microturbines, a gas pretreatment system, and rooftop solar panels - Gannett Fleming

    The micoturbine cogeneration facility includes two 65 kilowatt microturbines, a gas pretreatment system, and rooftop solar panels.

  • Skid mounted biogas conditioning system - Gannett Fleming

    Cleaner gas produced by the skid mounted biogas conditioning system allows for more efficient operations.

  • View of the biogas conditioning system - Gannett Fleming

    The clean gas produced by the biogas conditioning system extends the life of the equipment.

  • Microtubines - Gannett Fleming

    Cogeneration using microturbines provides an efficient heat and power generating system.

  • Rooftop solar panels - Gannett Fleming

    A 13 kilowatt solar panel roof offers a cost-effective source to augment energy demands of the plant.

Client
Great Neck Water Pollution Control District (GNWPCD)

Partner(s)
RJ Industries, Inc.

Location
Great Neck, New York

Our Role
Engineer, Construction Management.

Data
Size
5.3 mgd
Construction Cost
$1.9 million
Completed
2014
Type
New Construction
Duration
1 year, 6 months
Outcomes
  • Reflects client’s values to be sustainable and efficient
  • Realizes $110,000 annual savings in utility spending
  • Achieves technological advancement for the wastewater industry. 

Foresight, cutting-edge technology, and sustainability are at the heart of this energy solution for GNWPCD. The project team creatively applied two emerging technologies to design a microturbine cogeneration facility (MCF) that powers a 5.3 million-gallons-per-day wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).

Today, this onsite, microturbine cogeneration system increases the wastewater treatment plant’s energy efficiency and reduces plant-wide purchased power by 600,000 thousand kilowatt-hours annually, saving $110,000. The MCF is a first for the GNWPCD and sets a model for the future: less than a handful of like systems exist in the country to power a wastewater treatment plant.

What We Did

To meet GNWPC’s renewable energy goals, the project team explored many alternatives for energy production, including wind, solar, and effluent hydropower. Ultimately, cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), using microturbines was selected as the most suitable option to increase the energy efficiency of the plant. Power from the cogeneration facility is used onsite to reduce plant electricity demand, and part of the waste heat is utilized by heat exchanges to heat the digester and the plant building. This combination delivers one of the most efficient heat and power generating systems available and introduces a combination rarely seen in the wastewater industry. 

Gannett Fleming provided design and construction management services, as well as abatement oversight for the removal and disposal of hazardous materials in support of construction activities for other plant upgrades. The firm also provided onsite coordination and oversight for the removal of asbestos, lead-based paint, and mercury vapor-impacted buildings that are scheduled to be demolished, as well as for buildings that will remain in place as part of the plant operations. 

Key Features

  • Concrete pad and canopy 
  • Two 65 kilowatt microturbines with remote monitoring capabilities that enable plant workers to troubleshoot problems quickly, saving time and resources 
  • Gas pretreatment skid to feed digester gas to microturbines
  • Waste heat recovery system for digester heating and building space heating
  • Electric grid tie-in for onsite electricity
  • Natural gas mixing system that blends gases together.

Sustainability Features & Outcomes

  • Saves $110,000 annually in utility costs
  • Reduces plant-wide power usage by 600,000 kilowatt-hours annually
  • Operates at 80 percent energy efficiency 
  • Reduces grid congestion as an onsite generation source
  • Includes 13 kilowatt solar panels on the roof, which offer a cost-effective, low-maintenance, and reliable source to augment the energy demands of the plant.

Awards & Recognition

  • Platinum Award, 2016, American Council of Engineering Companies of New York, Engineering Excellence Awards.

Similar Projects: Engineering, Wastewater: Wastewater Treatment Plants, Water/Wastewater, Engineering: Water/Wastewater