Coal, Renewable Energy, Smart Grid

General Motors uses Capstone MicroTurbines as part of environmental program in California

CHATSWORTH, Calif., Nov. 5, 2001 — As part of its Community Clean Air partnership with the South Coast Air Quality Management District, General Motors will install Capstone MicroTurbine™ power generation systems early next year at GM dealerships in California to reduce energy costs and conserve power consumption from the state’s electric grid.

The initial rollout will involve installation of solar panels made by BP and one or more Capstone 60 MicroTurbine systems at each of five GM dealerships within the state.

The program was unveiled yesterday at the newly constructed Rydell Chevrolet-Buick-Pontiac-GM dealership in San Fernando, Calif.

At the event, Dennis R. Minano, GM vice president of environment and energy and chief environmental officer, said: “These low-emission Capstone MicroTurbine systems are designed and manufactured right here in the San Fernando Valley.

“California is an important market for GM, so we are very pleased that we can do our part to simultaneously help improve California air quality, support the California economy and reduce demand on the California power grid. And that California GM dealerships can do all this while saving money on their utility bills certainly doesn’t hurt.”

Norman Chambers, who was recently retained by Capstone Turbine Corp. as its chief operating officer, said: “Last December, in Madrid, BP unveiled the world’s most environment-friendly gas station. Solar panels like these cover the canopy above the pumps that deliver BP gasoline and liquefied natural gas products. But the prime power system at that facility is a Capstone MicroTurbine.

“GM and the AQMD have made it possible for us to again join these technologies. We are proud to have the opportunity to work with these three world-class organizations, each renowned for its abiding commitment to making a cleaner environment for us all.

“As its chief operating officer, it is my goal to continue Capstone Turbine’s pioneering work to make clean, efficient, cost-saving energy technology available to municipalities, government entities and businesses of all types here in California, across the nation and around the world.”

Referring to actor and environmentalist Ed Begley, Jr., who moderated the event, Mike Tingus, Capstone’s vice president of U.S. Sales & Business Development, said: “Two months ago, Ed and I were standing atop a mountain of trash at the Lopez Canyon Landfill just a couple miles north of here.

“We were sharing that mountaintop with 50 Capstone systems, which can turn waste gases from that landfill into enough renewable electricity to support 1,500 homes. Ed, I hope you and I can do this again soon.

“General Motors’ effort to introduce innovative, clean alternative energy technologies such as Capstone MicroTurbines into its business practices is exactly the kind of forward-thinking leadership that serves as a model to other businesses.”

Tingus added, “Following these inaugural installations, it is our hope that more of the nearly 1,000 GM dealerships in California will embrace this cost-saving environmental initiative.”

Capstone MicroTurbines cleanly generate power onsite, reducing grid power consumption, lowering energy costs and providing power reliability and security. The two 60-kilowatt Capstone 60 systems at the Rydell facility will be able to provide all of the dealership’s power needs.

Energy cost savings from Capstone MicroTurbine installations at participating GM dealerships are conservatively anticipated to be at least 15 percent, including natural gas costs.

“We apply advanced technology to make progress through our products, plants and partnerships with governmental agencies such as the AQMD,” said Minano. “GM is firmly committed to helping California achieve its clean air goals.”

Capstone MicroTurbines — which have only one moving assembly and use no oil, lubricants or coolants — can serve as primary power, add capacity and conserve grid power particularly during peak demand periods.

Unlike standby diesel generator sets, which have air quality runtime limitations of less than 200 hours a year (out of 8,760 hours in a year), low-emission Capstone MicroTurbines can be operated without runtime limitations by being significantly below emissions requirements statewide, nationwide and worldwide.

Capstone systems can be linked together to provide a high-reliability generation array that can serve loads ranging from a few kilowatts to a few megawatts. Exhaust heat can be used for water and facility heating, process drying and even absorption-chiller air conditioning, displacing electric-powered air conditioners.