Oak Ridge National Laboratory


News Release

Media Contact: Fred Strohl (strohlhf@ornl.gov)
Communications and External Relations


Distributed Generation projects awarded $3 million

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Nov. 2, 2000 — A total of $3 million to encourage distributed generation for industrial power production has been awarded to eight bidders by the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

"The goal of this effort is to encourage industry toward the concept of distributed generation," said Mike Karnitz of ORNL's Metals and Ceramics Division.

Distributed generation is electricity produced on site using fuel cells, microturbines, renewable electric systems and other "prime movers." This type of power generation is creating a new industry of custom-designed programmable equipment to meet specific energy needs for factories, hospitals, office and commercial buildings and other users of distributed power generation.

"This program will provide the industrial sector a chance to consider and implement distributed generation for their power needs," said Karnitz, whose division is working with DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Distributed Energy Resources Task Force on the program. "A large portion of the existing distributed generation and of the potential for future distributed generation installations is found in the industrial sector. The results, successes and experiences of these efforts will be published by DOE and ORNL to encourage other U.S. companies to adopt and implement distributed generation."

The duration of the contracts is two years with industry's cost averaging 40 percent of the total value.

Projects funded through these awards are: .

- Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, Ill.: A government and industry cooperative will be developed to integrate industrial distributed generation systems at strategic locations in major metropolitan areas. A two-phase program will be developed, tested and documented in the Chicago metropolitan area.

- Industrial Center, Washington: This project will study how cooling, heating and power systems can be integrated into distributed generation equipment in manufacturing and how waste heat can be used in the process. Two micropower (prime mover/heat recovery) concepts will be tested in actual industrial facilities.

- New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, Albany, N.Y.: New York's existing siting and permitting processes will be reviewed to determine how they can be streamlined to promote distributed generation opportunities in industrial parks, brown fields and institutions. A study of potential utility districts with transmission and distributed electric grids and load centers will be included.

- Onsite Sycom, Carlsbad, Calif. : Developing the marketing of distributed generation will be the focus by creating an operational reliability and availability database for industrial on-site generation technologies. The primary task will be based on actual customer data and is heavily dependent on industrial customer participation.

- Salt River Project, Phoenix: Salt River proposes a new approach to the study of distributed generation for the semiconductor industry through an economic analysis. The evaluation will concentrate on the economics, reliability, availability and environmental issues of various distributed generation systems and how they relate to the semiconductor industry.

- Southern California Gas Co., Los Angeles.: (1 of 2) : The integration of industrial fluid heating processes with combined heat and power technologies in the chemical and petroleum refining sectors will be studied. A detailed evaluation will be conducted for Paramount Petroleum Corp., which owns a 46,500 barrel per day refinery in Paramount, Calif. Fluid heating is not normally conducted in the chemical/petroleum industry, but this proposal seeks to address innovative approaches that would grow this opportunity.

- Southern California Gas Co., Los Angeles, (2 of 2): This project will demonstrate the viability of a large-scale combined heat and power demonstration project at a number of locations at the Marine Air Ground Combat Center in Palms, Calif.

- Syska Hennessy, New York: This will apply a premium power high-reliability distributed generation system for a large industrial communications facility at the Bell Atlantic Zeckendorf Central Office Switching Facility on Long Island, N.Y. The heat from a fuel cell plant will be captured and used to drive a building cooling heat and power system.