Cogeneration Feasibility Analyses

Members of the Firm provided consulting assistance to the Greenville Utilities Commission, North Carolina (GUC) concerning feasibility investigations of two potential cogeneration projects. The overall goal of the studies was to determine if the development of a cogeneration project by GUC could be utilized to reduce its purchased power supply costs. An initial “Fatal Flaw” investigation was undertaken concerning the potential installation of a combustion turbine based co-generation facility to provide the steam heating requirements of East Carolina University’s (ECU) main campus. For this investigation, the installation of a combustion turbine rated 8.55 MW in combination with an unfired heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) rated for delivery of 44,000 lbs/per hour steam. Study results indicated that the benefit of such an installation to GUC would be marginal due to ECU’s thermal load profile.

As a separate investigation, the preliminary feasibility of installing eleven different combinations of closed-cycle and combined-cycle combustion turbine units to meet the steam heating and cooling requirements of the ECU Medical School and Pitt County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) was analyzed. As one aspect of this study, ERG developed potential joint venture project business and operations structures for the project. Study results indicated that the installation of two combustion turbines each rated 6.2 MW with unfired HRSG’s and steam absorption chillers would potentially provide savings of approximately $2 million annually in power purchase cost to GUC and would reduce the heating and cooling costs of the ECU Medical School and PCMH by approximately $1 million annually while maintaining the proposed project in full compliance with federal Qualified Facility criteria. A follow-on comprehensive study was accomplished to: develop a detailed conceptual project design; resolve siting issues and investigate state and federal regulatory requirements; develop a project implementation schedule and to perform detailed economic/financial analyses relative to several alternatives for splitting the savings between project participants.

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