U.S. pellet manufacturer chooses ORC for new biomass power system in New England
Turboden will provide an 8 MW unit to Maine Woods Pellet Company to be installed in Athens (ME).
19 January 2015
Turboden, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI), leader in Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) power systems for distributed generation from renewable sources and waste heat, was chosen by Maine Woods Pellet Company to supply the world largest biomass based ORC power unit for its plant in Athens, Maine, United States.
Maine Woods Pellet Co. owns and operates a state-of-the-art wood pellet production facility. This plant can produce up to 100,000 tons of wood pellets per year both for the bulk and bagged fuel markets, which makes it the largest pellet manufacturer in the state.
The Turboden ORC system will produce 8 MW converting the heat of thermal oil generated by wood residues from de-barking and chipping operations.
Maine Woods Pellet secured a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with Central Maine Power (CPM) covering the power to be exported to the grid and will benefit from a tax credit for the project equity investments according to the New Markets Tax Credit Program. Start-up of the biomass power unit is scheduled for March 2016.
This second order in the United States, after the 1 MW ORC unit installed at Albany County Sewer District in Menands (NY), is a further important step of Turboden advance in the North American market.
Turboden power generation systems in North America
Turboden leading position in ORC systems (290 plants sold globally and 6.5 million hours of operation cumulated to date) was reached mainly through biomass based distributed generation systems first in Western Europe and recently in North America.
The first Turboden unit installed and operating in Rosetown Saskatchewan (Canada) since November 2011 marked the beginning of a growth path in North America with a series of projects where Turboden ORCs were selected thanks to the proven track record of efficiency, reliability, ease of operation and low maintenance costs.
Along this path, Turboden gained orders for several power systems in North America with an overall capacity to date of more than 40 MW.
The most important power systems equipped with Turboden ORC units are at prestigious wood products companies in Canada Western Provinces.
Five ORC units are installed in British Columbia.
The first is a 2.2 MW ORC operating since February 2013 in Vanderhoof at Nechako Lumber (Sinclar Group).
Four more 6.5 MW ORCs are installed in pairs at two different West Fraser sites in Chetwynd and in Fraser Lake. Commissioning of the first two units is now under way. By the end of the first quarter of 2015, all four ORC units will be in operation.
Finally a 3 MW ORC will convert heat to power at Manning Diversified Forest Product (MDFP) wood residue biomass plant in Northern Alberta. This plant is due to start up in the first quarter of 2015 too.