Advanced Biomass Gasification for Heat and Power Demonstration Project, with Storage (UBC)
In February 2010, UBC and its partners Vancouver-based Nexterra Systems and GE Water & Power launched the “Advanced Biomass Gasification for Heat and Power Demonstration Project”. The Project was awarded $10.8M from the Clean Energy Fund and would further underscore the university’s leadership in sustainability by reducing emissions from its largest emitter - the natural-gas fueled boiler facility.
The Project would result in the construction and commissioning of a BioEnergy Research and Demonstration Facility (BRDF) at the university’s Point Grey campus in Vancouver. For several years, Nexterra had been working with GE Water & Power to develop a new generation of biomass fueled combined heat and power systems (CHPs). The systems would utilize a GE Jenbacher reciprocating engine fueled by conditioned syngas generated by a Nexterra gasification system. Both Nexterra and GE were eager to undertake a “city scale” demonstration of their combined system. Partnership with UBC brought the desires of Nexterra and GE together with the needs of UBC to solidify the Project.
A year into the Project, the scope was expanded to include enhanced heat recovery of planned-vented heat, as well as the installation of an advance electro-chemical energy storage system and an energy management system to provide emergency backup power in the event of a main electrical supply grid failure. Lithium-ion based energy storage “nodes” were installed at three locations on campus (Bioenergy R&D Facility; Networks of Centres of Excellence; Fred Kaiser Building Alpha Lab) to provide a combined total of 1 MWh installed capacity.
Corvus Energy donated 154 lithium-ion battery modules plus interconnection hardware and battery management software, and Alpha Technologies provided 450kVA of power supply hardware and centralized management/control software.