Capstone Green Energy – MicroTurbine Generators
About the Company:
Capstone Green Energy® is a leading provider of customized microgrid solutions and on-site energy technology systems focused on helping customers around the globe meet their environmental, energy savings, and resiliency goals. Capstone Green Energy focuses on four key business lines. Through its Energy as a Service (EaaS) business, it offers rental solutions utilizing its microturbine energy systems and battery storage systems, comprehensive Factory Protection Plan (FPP) service contracts that guarantee life-cycle costs, as well as aftermarket parts. Energy Generation Technologies (EGT) are driven by the Company’s industry-leading, highly efficient, low-emission, resilient microturbine energy systems offering scalable solutions in addition to a broad range of customer-tailored solutions, including hybrid energy systems and larger frame industrial turbines. The Energy Storage Solutions (ESS) business line designs and installs microgrid storage systems creating customized solutions using a combination of battery technologies and monitoring software. Through Hydrogen & Sustainable Products (H2S), Capstone Green Energy offers customers a variety of hydrogen products, including the Company’s microturbine energy systems.
To date, Capstone has shipped over 10,000 units to 83 countries and estimates that, in FY21, it saved customers over $217 million in annual energy costs and approximately 397,000 tons of carbon. Total savings over the last three full fiscal years (FY19-FY21) are estimated to be approximately $698 million in energy savings and approximately 1,115,100 tons of carbon savings.
About the Solution:
With the use of an anaerobic digester, Capstone microturbines run efficiently on renewable fuels such as methane and other biogases from landfills, wastewater treatment facilities and renewable natural gas. They also run efficiently on other small biogas applications like food processing plants, livestock farms and agricultural green waste operations. Microturbines can burn these renewable fuels with minimal emissions, thereby, and in some cases, avoiding the imposition of penalties incurred for pollution while simultaneously producing electricity from this “free” renewable fuel source for use at the site or in the surrounding areas.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
Anaerobic Digester Associated Technology:
NOTE: There are several technology types that are used as part of an integrated manure management system that includes an anaerobic digester and are not applicable to manure management in other cases. The impact of these technologies on the critical indicators are represented as those of an entire anaerobic digester system.
- Long usable life and can be run reliably
- Creates energy and generates environmental credits
- Requires proper preparation of the feedstock
- Requires other technologies for energy utilization
- Requires other technologies for digestate handling
- Proper feeding & system monitoring is required to avoid system downtime
- Proven technology for odor control, GHG reduction and pathogen reduction
This technology has been used on dairy digester gas in the U.S. in the past, installed by a distributor, but based on Newtrient's information that system is currently not operating. The turbine technology itself was not the primary issue, but there were multiple problems with the electronics which resulted in limited run time and excessive downtime on the system. The turbines are capable of handling hydrogen sulfide but an important consideration in the installation of the system is that the other components (i.e. blowers and filters) must also be capable of handling hydrogen sulfide as well. Because there are no North American installations at this time, the Capstone MicroTurbines have not been evaluated for a 9-Point Score. Newtrient will continue to work with Capstone Green Energy to collect cost and performance information if new commercial dairy installations come on line.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY