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Months on the Road, New Turbine Arrives

By Beth Potier, Media Relations
January 14, 2009

Erin Gleason, UNH Photo Services

On Dec. 23, UNH welcomed the newest addition to its energy efficiency efforts: a Solar Mercury 50 turbine that will turn processed landfill gas into electricity. The motor home-sized turbine took several months to travel via truck from the Solar plant in San Diego to UNH, stopping along the way for additional permitting. Once here, it sat on the west edge of campus for a day due to poor weather.

In a day-long effort coordinated by Emcor, the company contracted to operate and maintain UNH’s cogeneration plant, the new turbine traveled up Main Street to the cogen plant, where a crane waited to maneuver it onto a bay in the plant.

The new turbine will run on processed landfill gas that is in excess of what the campus needs – during summer or school breaks, for instance – to generate power to sell back to the electric grid. “The revenues that come in will help pay for the cost of our ECOline project,” says UNH energy manager Matt O’Keefe.

The new turbine makes environmental sense as well as economic, says O’Keefe, who notes that its emissions are the lowest of any similar sized turbines; the new turbine will emit just 10 percent of what the existing gas turbine does. “It’s the top-of-the-line gas turbine for this kind of application,” he says. 

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