February 13, 2013
Source: South Coast AQMD
Microturbines reduce diesel fuel usage by 200,000 gallons annually
Representatives from the South Coast AQMD and Southern California Edison today will dedicate 23 propane-fueled electrical generating units at the Edison power station near Avalon to help reduce air pollution and cut diesel fuel use on Catalina Island.
“These microturbines are helping to reduce smog-forming pollutants and diesel particulates from Catalina’s power plant,” said William A. Burke, Ed.D., AQMD’s Chairman. “This will help improve air quality not only on Catalina but also on the mainland as prevailing winds can carry pollutants onshore.”
The addition of the microturbines to Southern California Edison’s electric system on Catalina Island provides approximately 1.5 megawatts in capacity, while reducing the consumption of diesel fuel by 200,000 gallons annually, said Caroline Choi, Southern California Edison’s vice president for regulatory policy.
“We are pleased to celebrate the dedication of 23 microturbines,” Choi said. “The microturbines allow SCE to operate its diesel engines in an optimal manner for the installed emissions reduction equipment.”
AQMD provided the 60-kilowatt microturbines to Edison and they became operational at SCE’s Pebbly Beach generating station in December 2011. Prior to that time, diesel engines provided 100 percent of electricity generated on Catalina.
In 2012, use of the microturbines reduced diesel fuel consumption at the power plant by 200,000 gallons, or about 10 percent. This in turn reduced smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions from the facility by about 8 percent and diesel particulate matter by about 9.5 percent.
In addition to reducing air pollution and diesel fuel usage, the microturbines supplement electrical power and help offset peak power loads on the island. Last year, the microturbines generated 2.5 million kilowatt-hours of energy or about nine percent of the total power produced on the island.
Since 2001, AQMD has deployed 210 similar microturbines throughout the Southland. Microturbines, fueled by natural gas or propane as well as renewable biogas from landfills and wastewater facilities, can provide clean, alternative power to distributed generation projects that are not connected to the power grid.
AQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.