Clarke Energy to build 280kW CHP system to support Maine biogas plant


Clarke Energy is to supply Peaks Renewables – a subsidiary of Summit Utilities – with a natural gas fired combined heat and power (CHP) system.

Peaks Renewables is partnering with Maine’s dairy industry to develop locally produced renewable natural gas at an anaerobic digestion facility in Clinton, Maine.

Cow manure will be collected and processed through the anaerobic digester owned and operated by Peaks. Once in the digester, the manure will be heated and decomposed, creating biogas. The gas will then be cleaned to pipeline quality.

From there, Peaks will sell the renewable energy credits to third parties who need them for its own decarbonisation requirements. The natural gas itself will be bought by Peaks’ affiliate company, Summit Natural Gas of Maine, and used to provide reliable gas service to its thousands of customers throughout the state.

Clarke Energy’s CoEnergy products include CHP engines working in the sub 500kW range. These engines are assembled and containerized in an Upton, Massachusetts facility.

The CHP system will deliver 280kW of electricity to support the operations and approximately 1.5 MMBtu of thermal energy which will be used to process hot water for the biogas plant, which will reduce carbon emissions and save fuel costs.

The CHP also has black start capability, meaning the facility can restore electric power without having to rely on the external electric power transmission network. In addition, Clarke Energy is supplying a 500kW Kohler Power back up gas-fuelled generator. Both units will ensure energy efficiency and resilience for the project in the event of unexpected occurrences.

Ryan Morris, Peaks Renewables said, “Our anaerobic digestion facility will enable us to treat farm waste sustainably and in parallel generate renewable natural gas which will help to reduce carbon emissions. We selected Clarke Energy to supply both our CHP plant and back up gas generator to deliver fuel efficiency and resilience to our operations.”

Clarke Energy USA’s Sales Director Alan Howard, said, “This CHP plant will reduce operational costs and carbon emissions for the site which is producing renewable natural gas.”

CHP remains a highly versatile and efficient use of primary energy, which can offer benefits and balance all three aspects of the energy ’trilemma’ of sustainability, affordability and security. It can work alongside other renewable energy technologies and energy storage systems as part of a sustainable hybrid energy solution.

The CHP market is expected to record incremental growth of US$8.35bn between 2021 and 2026 at a CAGR of 6.57%, according to Technavio.

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