Toledo a Hotbed of Microturbines, Energy Efficiency Projects

Next week GEM Energy will host a Critical Power and Data Center Summit in partnership with Capstone Turbine Corporation at The University of Toledo. More than 100 end-users of combined heat and power technology from across the country are expected to attend.

Microturbines are a focus of the Nov. 7 summit. Attendees will tour a modular Capstone-powered ReliaFlex unit at The University of Toledo Data Center. They’ll also be able to see other microturbine applications scattered around Toledo, including at an ice arena, an event center and an art museum, said Sam Brewer, general manager with GEM Energy.

The functioning module on the university’s data center uses Hybrid UPS microturbines from Capstone. Each of its four microturbines is “about the size of two refrigerators,” said Brewer, who explained that most facilities don’t have dedicated space for CHP. “Retrofits have to deliver in a format that goes on the roof or in the parking lot.”

Besides its high market density of microturbines, Toledo also is aggressive in retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency.

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority has completed the issuance of a second bond deal for the BetterBuildings Northwest Ohio (BBNWO) program bringing total funding for the program to almost $12 million on total project value of $20 million, according to Clean Edge News. The funding is providing financing for building retrofit projects and at least two large solar arrays.

More than 50 buildings have already gotten energy efficiency improvements through the BBNWO program with nearly 20 other buildings scheduled for improvements. The BBNWO program has formed an Energy Special Improvement District – the Toledo Ohio Advanced Energy Improvement Corporation – allowing improvements to be funded through property special assessments. Building owners can pay for the improvements through energy savings.

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