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Frito-Lay Among Adopters of Cogen Plants

cogeneration-plantAdding an on-site electricity generating system that also benefits a manufacturing or business process is becoming increasingly more attractive for major companies and other organizations.

Frito Lay, for instance, has added a cogeneration system at its Killingly, Conn., plant.

The co-gen system will allos Frito-Lay to operate off the grid, and the system has the added benefit of producing steam that can be used in the production of snack items, according to a press release. The 2,500 square-foot generating system was made possible in part by a $1 million grant under Connecticut’s Energy Independence Act, under which businesses and government agencies are encouraged to install systems to ease demand on the Northeast power grid.

In this case, a gas turbine produces enough electricity to run the 300,000-square-foot plant, which technically is “floating”on the grid, meaning it can pull electricity from the general grid when necessary, reports the Norwich Bulletin.

At Keene State College in New Hampshire, a new cogeneration facility is expected to save the school $120,000 a year in electricity costs, reports Associated Press. The school uses two boilers to produce heat for the school, as well as to turn a turbine that will generate up to 12 percent of the campus’s electricity.

A new data center at Syracuse University that employs cogen will be among the world’s most efficient, using half as much energy as a typical data center.

Some cogeneration projects generate more electricity than actually is needed. For example, a co-generation biogas unit will generate twice as much electricity as is needed to run the operations at Stahlbush Island Farms in Oregon. The $10 million plant, which operates on fruit and vegetable waste, will generate enough electricity to supply the equivalent of 1,100 homes.

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One thought on “Frito-Lay Among Adopters of Cogen Plants

  1. It’s great that Frito Lay is doing combined heat & power (CHP) now. That’s one of the best opportunities for greenhouse gas reduction that exists. Now I admit I may be biased: I’m associated with Recycled Energy Development, a company that does CHP and its sister technology, waste energy recovery. But the reason I’m involved is the massive potential. EPA and DOE studies suggest those two technologies could slash greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in the U.S. That’s as much as if we took every passenger vehicle off the road. Meanwhile, costs would fall due to increased efficiency. We should do much more of this.

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