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Nexterra, UBC and GE Celebrate the Opening of Groundbreaking Renewable Biomass CHP System - A First in North America
(This article is taken from a Nexterra press release of September 13, 2012)

Next Generation of Nexterra Gasification Systems Ready for the World

Vancouver, BC - September 13, 2012 - Nexterra Systems Corp., the University of British Columbia (UBC), and GE have successfully completed an energy-from-renewable-waste combined heat and power (CHP) system located at UBC's Vancouver campus. This is North America's first commercial demonstration of a transformative system that combines Nexterra's gasification and syngas conditioning technologies with one of GE's high-efficient Jenbacher internal combustion engines.

GE's Jenbacher gas engine will produce 2 MW of clean, renewable electricity that will offset UBC's existing power consumption, enough to power approximately 1,500 homes. The Nexterra system will also generate 3 MW of thermal energy, enough steam to displace up to 12 percent of UBC's natural gas consumption. This will reduce UBC's greenhouse gas emissions by up to 5,000 tonnes per year which is the equivalent of taking more than 1,000 cars off the road.

The successful start-up of the project at UBC - officially named the "Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF)" - represents an important milestone in Nexterra's quest to reliably convert low-value waste feedstocks into higher value renewable fuels and chemicals. The system has completed a comprehensive testing program for reliability, capacity and emissions, and has successfully connected to the grid.

Using Nexterra's proven gasification technology platform and innovative gas clean-up and thermal cracking solution, the system converts locally-sourced waste wood into a clean, reliable gas that is suitable for use in a high-efficiency, industrial-scale gas engine to produce heat and power. The system will deliver global electrical efficiencies that are 25 percent higher than traditional methods for producing biomass-based electricity at this scale.

Start-up of the system represents the culmination of more than four years of product development work and collaboration with GE's Gas Engines business. Prior to installing the gas engine at UBC, Nexterra successfully completed more than 5,000 hours of trials at its Product Development Center in Kamloops BC.

"This exciting facility targets a major challenge facing society - the need for new, clean energy solutions that work at a community scale," says UBC President Stephen Toope. "This is a flagship example of UBC as a living laboratory, where researchers, staff, students and partners collaborate on innovations targeting the pressing challenges of our day."

Designed by McFarland Marceau Architects, UBC's CHP bioenergy system is housed in a building that was constructed using cross-laminate timber (CLT), a new solid wood building material that can be used as a low carbon, renewable alternative to steel frame construction. This will be one of the first CLT buildings in North America and will demonstrate its market potential for the forest industry.

Funding support for this project was provided by: the Government of Canada (Natural Resources Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada); the Province of British Columbia (B.C. Innovative Clean Energy Fund and the Ministry of Forests, Mines, and Lands); Sustainable Development Technologies Canada (SDTC); the BC Bioenergy Network; and FP Innovations.

For more information go to: www.nexterra.ca.

 

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