Acquiring enough power from the local electrical grid is a key power consideration for many businesses and organizations. Such was the case for a New York industrial research and development center and its choice to supplement grid power with a Combined Heat & Power (CHP) system.

Based in a rural area, this facility was the largest power user for the local energy company. During the course of adding a new research and development process to the 300,000-square-foot building, the company conducted an analysis of the power and infrastructure required. It was determined that triple its current electrical use was needed.

The utility company could only double the facility’s electrical supply, leaving a gap for what the facility needed to implement its new process. Increased capacity from the utility would take several months and over a million dollars to install and the facility would still be short of its ultimate goal. 

ENERGY GAP for research and development center BRIDGED WITH CHP

Faced with this shortage, the company began to search for a low maintenance, modular on-site power generation option. The facility’s new process would be implemented in stages, and to meet the increased electrical needs of the new process, it was preferred that the  power solution could also be brought on line in phases. 

GEM Energy installed the Capstone 1000 kW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) packaged system for the facility’s electrical and hot water heating needs. In addition to the electric power output, this system provides 4.1 million BTUs of hot water every hour, more than enough to satisfy the resource needs of the new R&D process. 

Though many building owners look at CHP systems as a way to save on their utility costs and serve as back-up power, in this case the CHP system also served as a true add-on power source. The modular equipment and installation approach appealed to the company’s leadership, giving them the option to add more units to handle increased load when needed. 


Ultimately, the facility group selected the Capstone micro turbines because of the short design and installation timeframe of six months. Other competitive CHP systems could not be delivered and installed in a similar timeframe, but GEM Energy’s experienced turnkey development proved to be the difference. 

In addition to coordinating the design and specifications for the CHP system used at the facility, GEM Energy handled the process of obtaining incentives for the client and secured a $1,425,000 state incentive to support the installation.

The modular 1,000 kW microturbine CHP system is now in place at the New York facility, with the infrastructure to expand to up to 3,000 kW as the R&D process and other facility needs grow. The modular design of the installed Capstone CHP package enables the CHP to efficiently support the process as it expands, even at low load levels of 20 to 40%. 

With the first phase of the facility’s new research and development process now up and running, the electrical supply from the CHP system is currently exceeding the expectations of the company’s leadership and providing reliable power. 

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