The BP energy company has unveiled a gas station in Madrid, which it claims is the world’s most environment-friendly facility.
MADRID, Spain – A microturbine that burns natural gas is the primary source of electricity for the station, generating 30 kilowatts of electrical output as well as producing heat to warm the water for the car wash and for space heating in winter months. BP claims the Capstone unit is 80 percent efficient. “The future of energy and the environment is in a critical situation, and we at BP are committed to doing our part to change our habits of consumption, optimize energy efficiency and promote energy saving measures,” company officials said at the official opening last Tuesday in the Spanish capital. “We have a commitment to promoting the use of renewable energies and new technologies. In sum, we intend to have a holistic policy of respecting the environment.” The gas station includes a 10 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) array, a 6 kW wind turbine and a geothermal heat pump system to maximize the use of residual heat. The service station will have an electric vehicle charging service and also houses an on-site Renewable Energy Hall exhibition space to showcase the systems that are the sole source of power for the high-tech service station. The exhibit will serve as an energy teaching laboratory for local universities and the public at-large. Another Capstone MicroTurbine(TM) power system will be unveiled at a service station and energy museum combination to open in Lisbon, Portugal, soon. BP’s launched its Sunflower program three years ago, and has installed PV panels in 40 of its service stations in Spain since then. BP Espana recently launched a business unit to commercialize natural gas and electrical generation technologies that will directly serve Spain and Portugal. “BP is one of the world’s largest energy companies, and they have clearly demonstrated a leadership and an abiding commitment to development of clean and renewable energy sources,” says Ake Almgren, president and CEO of Capstone Turbine. “BP’s selection of the Capstone MicroTurbine as the primary on-site energy supply system for their Madrid and Lisbon facilities is a significant endorsement.” BP Amoco p.l.c. is the holding company of one of the world’s largest petroleum groups and is one of the world’s largest producers of PV modules and systems. It has 29,000 retail service stations around the world, of which 17,000 BP, Amoco and ARCO stations are located in the U.S. The move to a single brand follows a $120 billion series of mergers and acquisitions which, during the past two years, has combined the former British Petroleum, Amoco, Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) and Burmah Castrol, to create a group with combined market value of $180 billion. Capstone Turbine won the recent Financial Times award for Most Innovative Commercial Technology for its low-emission microturbine systems. The unit is used in hybrid electric vehicles for onboard generation, as well as resource recovery and converting oilfield and biomass waste gases into electricity.