Cogeneration Solution Serves Processing Plant Needs [PODCAST]

Concentric Power, a California-based provider of high-efficiency energy modules for onsite refrigeration and electric power generation, recently launched a $100 million financing program for cogeneration and microgrid projects.

“We are excited to create a new path forward in energy infrastructure financing and development,” Brian Curtis, founder and CEO of Concentric Power, said in a press release. “The next 20 years will be transformative for how electric power is generated and consumed. Industrial and ag consumers see these shifts coming but would often rather invest capital in their core business rather than in plant utilities. Concentric’s technology strategy and finance program enable customers to utilize third-party financing to roll out sustainable infrastructure.”

Concentric has already developed two significant projects: Taylor Farms in Gonzales, California, and True Leaf Farms in San Juan Bautista, California. Both are large agricultural processing facilities that require several MW of power and refrigeration to operate.

Taylor Farms (Figure 1) installed solar panels and a wind turbine to supply some of its power demand, but it wanted a reliable backup to fill voids when the wind and solar couldn’t provide the processing plant’s needs. Concentric evaluated the situation and constructed a cogeneration plant to meet the facility’s requirements.

1. Concentric Power supplied a 2-MW natural gas-fueled power system with cogeneration capability for a Taylor Farms facility in Gonzales, California. Courtesy: Concentric Power

The primary energy comes from a natural gas-fueled Caterpillar internal combustion engine. The heat in the engine’s exhaust and water cooling jacket is used by an aqueous ammonia absorption refrigeration unit, which cools the processing plant. An advanced control system governs the operation, matching wind, solar, and engine generation with the plant’s overall needs.

Curtis spoke to POWER Executive Editor Aaron Larson about his company and the solutions it provides. You can hear their conversation in episode 11 of The POWER Podcast.