GE, Clarke Energy to provide 7.7-MW gas plant to Sebewaing Light & Water

SEBEWAING — General Electric’s Distributed Power business and Waukesha, Wis.-based Clarke Energy USA Inc. announced they would supply a turnkey 7.7-megawatt combined heat and power plant to Sebewaing Light & Water, the municipal utility in the Huron County village of Sebewaing.

The companies said the plant would consist of two Jenbacher natural gas burning turbines, one capable of producing 4.4 megawatts and the other capable of producing 3.3 megawatts.

“Sebewaing is a unique load, and GE’s Distributed Power business and Clarke Energy were able to customize the application to enhance benefits for our utility and our customers,” Melanie McCoy, superintendent of Sebewaing Light & Water, said in a press release. “The high efficiency of GE’s Jenbacher gas engines fueled by natural gas will allow us to generate electricity at a low cost and reduce our risk of wholesale electricity price volatility. By self-generating our electricity, we estimate savings at more than $1.4 million per year. In addition, the plant adds to our capacity, allowing us to reliably serve more customers when the transmission grid is constrained or suffers an outage.”

Clarke Energy will also install GE’s Distributed Power’s myPlant Asset Performance Management software, an original equipment manufacturer-agnostic, Industrial Internet of Things system for reciprocating engines and generators that allows customers to improve the availability, reliability, operating performance and maintenance effectiveness of their Jenbacher gas engine fleet.

Clarke Energy will also provide a customized prefabricated and modular enclosure for the gensets, along with turnkey project management, installation, integration and commissioning.

The companies said the total system will displace an estimated 15,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to calculations utilizing the U.S. EPA eGRID database that tracks CO2 and other emissions’ intensity on the electric grid by region and sub-region. The significant reduction in CO2 is achieved by replacing grid electricity, which is predominately produced from aging coal plants in Michigan, with high-efficiency natural gas combustion in leading reciprocating internal combustion engine technology. Further carbon savings are achieved by operating the equipment in CHP mode, which uses waste heat from the gensets to offset natural gas burned in a boiler for industrial process steam or hot water. The natural gas-generating assets will also offset several aging diesel-generation assets for SL&W’s standby generation needs.

Heat recovered from the cooling water circuits, lube oil circuit, intercooler and exhaust gases can provide up to 10.45 million British thermal units per hour in the form of low-temperature hot water at 224 degrees Fahrenheit. The hot water will be available to SL&W’s leading industrial customer, a sugar beet processing plant owned by Michigan Sugar Co.

“Helping to address the increased variability of the wholesale electricity segment in Michigan and the Midwest, distributed natural gas-fueled power generation plants — like the one we are building for SL&W — provide flexible solutions to generate electricity at a low cost and with lower emissions, said Leon Jansen van Vuuren, general manager for global sales and commercial operations at GE’s Distributed Power business. “These types of plants also offer total project cycle speed in terms of their ability to go from contract signing to full operation in a year or less. Clarke Energy’s long-term service agreement backed by GE’s parts supply and our myPlant APM system help ensure excellent performance and reliability for the duration of the plant’s design life.”

GE’s Jenbacher gas engines have arrived in the U.S. from the company’s manufacturing plant in Jenbach, Austria. Clarke Energy’s prefabricated enclosure is being manufactured in Wisconsin, where the units will be mechanically and electrically installed prior to shipment to the site in the fourth quarter of 2018.  The commissioning will then follow to ensure the site is operational in the first quarter of 2019.

Clark Energy is a subsidiary of Kohler Co., a manufacturing company based in Kohler, Wis.

GE’s Distributed Power business is headquartered in Jenbach, Austria. More at

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