Once…Twice…How about 70 times company turns to Horizon Power for microturbines

NOVEMBER 2018 – In just six months, a pipeline company that transports much of North America’s natural gas  added 16 Capstone Microturbines to its 70-unit fleet in the Western United States.

Over the past 15 years, the company has replaced reciprocating engines with microturbines purchased from Capstone distributor Horizon Power Systems. The pipeline company has turned to microturbines because of their cost effectiveness. Capstone microturbines average 99% power availability, have much lower maintenance that requires fewer staff visits and thus lowers labor costs, and are environmentally friendly since no oil or lubricants are needed.

For the pipeline company, the clean and low-maintenance Capstone microturbines generate prime power to remote cathodic protection systems that produce electrical currents to help stop corrosion of metal pipelines. The microturbines also power gas monitoring, metering, and remote communications equipment.

Uninterrupted 24×7 power to the cathodic protection systems is critical to thwart corrosion that can result in leaks that endanger the environment and expensive repairs. The average 99 percent power availability of microturbines can result in a better safety record for the company’s pipelines that cross the continent.

Capstone microturbines outperform reciprocating engines in many ways. Reciprocating engines require regular maintenance and are environmentally unfriendly because of oil and lubricants that can leak and require careful disposal. In contrast, microturbines have only one moving part and don’t require oil or lubricants to operate.

“The cathodic protection systems are located in some remote areas where the pipes may transverse rugged terrain making service difficult during some seasons,” said Mark Williams, Corporate Account Manager for Horizon Power. “The company chose our microturbines because of their low maintenance, no threat of oil or lubricant leaks, and reduced labor costs since staff won’t need to visit each site as often to repair or maintain the power source. Together, these make the microturbines more cost effective.”

Get 10% Tax Credit for Microturbine & CHP Projects

Feb. 12, 2018 — The 10% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which was extended by Congress and President Trump through the end of 2021, will benefit companies that invest in microturbines and combined heat and power (CHP) projects. The tax credit, included in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, will continue to apply to purchases of Capstone’s ultra-low emission and high-reliability microturbine systems.

The final two years (2020 and 2021) of the ITC for all included technologies will contain a phase-out period. In year three of the extension, the ITC will drop to 8% and down to 6% in the final year.

Capstone personnel worked diligently in partnership with the Natural Gas Association, Combined Heat and Power Association, and other CHP industry members in support of this important new legislation as a means to accelerate the widespread adoption of CHP and microturbine technology.

Microturbines are highly efficient energy systems with low emissions that supply clean, distributed, and resilient power. Microturbine technology was invented in the United States, where the overwhelming majority of this technology continues to be produced today. The federal ITC has accelerated the deployment of microturbine technology and is an important signal to the microturbine manufacturing industry to continue investing in research and development and expanding its U.S. hiring and manufacturing base.

Additionally, the ITC has supported growth in CHP deployment with 870 megawatts in new installations in the U.S. in 2012 alone and reached an overall U.S. CHP capacity of 82.6 gigawatts. Allowing for the effective continued use of the ITC is a critical step toward supporting this growth and enhancing manufacturer competitiveness in the market.

“The extension of the 10% federal income tax credit will help improve the economics of many of our end-use customers CHP and CCHP projects and is another key component to help drive accelerated revenue growth in addition to the weakening U.S. dollar and higher crude oil prices,” said Darren Jamison, President and Chief Executive Officer of Capstone. “We will work with our U.S. based distribution partners to immediately rerun the economics on all pending CHP projects to show customers the new tax impact on their project,” added Jamison.