Frito-Lay Among Adopters of Cogen Plants

by | Aug 17, 2009

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cogeneration-plantAdding an on-site electricity generating system that also benefits a manufacturing or business process is becoming increasingly more attractive for major companies and other organizations.

Frito Lay, for instance, has added a cogeneration system at its Killingly, Conn., plant.

The co-gen system will allos Frito-Lay to operate off the grid, and the system has the added benefit of producing steam that can be used in the production of snack items, according to a press release. The 2,500 square-foot generating system was made possible in part by a $1 million grant under Connecticut’s Energy Independence Act, under which businesses and government agencies are encouraged to install systems to ease demand on the Northeast power grid.

In this case, a gas turbine produces enough electricity to run the 300,000-square-foot plant, which technically is “floating”on the grid, meaning it can pull electricity from the general grid when necessary, reports the Norwich Bulletin.

At Keene State College in New Hampshire, a new cogeneration facility is expected to save the school $120,000 a year in electricity costs, reports Associated Press. The school uses two boilers to produce heat for the school, as well as to turn a turbine that will generate up to 12 percent of the campus’s electricity.

A new data center at Syracuse University that employs cogen will be among the world’s most efficient, using half as much energy as a typical data center.

Some cogeneration projects generate more electricity than actually is needed. For example, a co-generation biogas unit will generate twice as much electricity as is needed to run the operations at Stahlbush Island Farms in Oregon. The $10 million plant, which operates on fruit and vegetable waste, will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 1,100 homes.

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