Northern Power Lands Power Plant Expansion

Northern Power Systems was selected by SC Johnson to engineer, build, and commission a US$6 million turnkey combined heat and power (CHP) system that will provide critical load support for manufacturing operations at the company’s Waxdale Plant in Racine, Wisconsin.

Waitsfield, Vermont – June 4, 2004 [] This adds to an existing Northern Power CHP plant which runs partially off excess methane gas from a local landfill. Major components of the new Northern system include a gas turbine/generator, a heat recovery steam generator, gas compressor system, proprietary microprocessor-based controls, power distribution equipment required for the cogeneration system loads and a 4,750 square-foot building to house all major equipment. The system’s combustion turbine generators interface with the building’s electrical services/utility and deliver steam to the plant. Recovery of heat from the generator exhaust will produce about 19,000 pounds per hour of plant steam. Northern said they landed the contract based on the proven success of another CHP system built by Northern at the company’s Waxdale plant. Installed in 2003, the first CHP system also employs a gas turbine/generator and heat recovery/steam generator. The first system runs on methane gas from the nearby Republic Services’ Kestral Hawk Landfill, while the new system will burn primarily natural gas. Together, the two systems are expected to provide approximately 75 percent of the annual electrical demand of the Waxdale plant. Because they employ clean-burning energy sources of methane and natural gas, the two turbines deliver a cogeneration system that supports SC Johnson’s long-running commitment to environmental protection and emission reduction of carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases and other pollutants. SC Johnson is a charter member of the EPA’s Climate Leaders program, a voluntary industry-government partnership that encourages companies to develop long-term comprehensive climate change strategies and set greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals. SC Johnson has set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23 percent in the United States by 2005, compared with 2000 levels. “Once both turbines are operational, total emissions reductions will equal 52,000 tons of greenhouse gases each year, or the amount generated by 4,210 automobiles annually,” said Franklyn Ericson, SC Johnson’s manager of environmental operations. The landfill-gas powered turbine commissioned in 2003 accounted for the removal of 32,000 tons of that total, while the second will remove another 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases per year. The first landfill-gas turbine project earned the company the 2004 Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Excellence in Environmental Performance and contributed to the EPA honoring the company with a “Lifetime Achievement” award for its long-term commitment to energy efficiency and emissions reductions. According to SC Johnson, the two turbines together will make Waxdale the first consumer packaged goods manufacturing plant in the Midwest to produce a substantial portion of its own energy through clean-burning technologies. The primary source of electricity in the region is now coal-fired generation. Once both turbines are operational, the total emissions reductions from the clean electricity generation will be the equivalent of removing 298 railroad carloads of coal from the Wisconsin environment annually.