US Energy Department Awards $40 Million For Microturbines

US Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson has announced an award of $40 million to six industrial partners for the research, development and testing of ‘next generation’ microturbine systems. These highly efficient and low emissions systems have electricity costs that are competitive with the grid.

Microturbines are small gas turbines designed for onsite power production, cooling, heating and power and mechanical drive applications. The advanced microturbine provides electric power suppliers a low-cost solution for electric energy, heating, and cooling, in microgrids in close proximity to customers, thus providing improved utility operating margins and avoiding costly modifications to the transmission and distribution infrastructure.

The industrial partners will share 40% of the total cost of DOE funds awarded. Beyond the department’s contribution, each individual partner will share approximately 30% to 50% of the cost, with exact amounts to be negotiated at a later date.

In the announcement, Capstone Turbine Corporation in Woodland Hills, CA were awarded $10,000,000, General Electric Corporate Research and Development were awarded $4,765,994, Honeywell Power Systems in Albuquerque, NM were awarded $9,993,489, Northern Research and Engineering Corporation, Ingersoll-Rand Energy Systems Division in Portsmouth, NH were awarded $1,475,863, Solar Turbines in San Diego, CA were awarded $4,555,859, and United Technologies Research Center in East Hartford, CT were awarded $8,621,434.

The research is expected to help reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, enhance electric grid operations, boost local economic development, and increase energy and economic efficiency.

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