NYPA and Lewiston Dedicate Pioneering Microturbine Operations at Wastewater Facility; Event Marks First Anniversary of Operations

Joanne Willmott, NYPA
O: 716-286-6651

Keith Field, Capstone Turbine
C: 818-216-2388
O: 818-734-5465

June 15, 2002


LEWISTON—Louis P. Ciminelli, chairman of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), was joined by state and local officials here Saturday as he presided over the dedication of Western New York’s first municipal use of microturbines.

The microturbines are helping to power the Town of Lewiston Water Pollution Control Center, a wastewater treatment facility.  This month marks the one-year anniversary of microturbine use at this facility.

“Under Governor Pataki’s policies encouraging clean, renewable energy solutions, the Town of Lewiston is the first municipality in Western New York to utilize microturbines,” said Ciminelli.  “Running this facility with cleaner, greener power protects the environment by improving air quality and saves taxpayers money by reducing operating costs.”

In 2001, Governor Pataki issued Executive Order No.111, which established energy efficiency and renewable energy goals for state buildings and vehicles.  This microturbine project is in line with the Governor’s executive order, which also encouraged local governments to pursue similar goals and authorized NYPA and other state agencies to assist municipalities.

“Lewiston’s use of one of the newest clean energy technologies powered by a renewable energy source is very appropriate in view of its role as host to our Niagara Power Project which also uses renewable energy and is New York State’s largest power producer,” Ciminelli added.

“Building this 21st-century microturbine project here is in keeping with the strong commitment of Governor Pataki and the Power Authority to the economic and environmental health of Lewiston and Western New York,” said Senator George D. Maziarz. “Just as the Niagara Power Project now helps to protect 50,000 jobs in Western New York, new energy technologies can help to bring more jobs to the Niagara Frontier.”

“The Town of Lewiston’s success with this advanced energy technology, through the efforts of Governor Pataki, the state legislature and the Power Authority, also helps create a positive climate for businesses seeking to develop the high-tech initiatives so vital to Western New York’s growth,” said Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte.

“We are grateful to Governor Pataki, the state legislative delegation and the Power Authority for helping us institute this innovative technology to reduce the cost of government for our town’s families and give us all cleaner air to breathe,” said Sandra Maslen, supervisor of the Town of Lewiston.

The two, new 30-kilowatt (kw) microturbines, made by Capstone Turbine Corporation (; Nasdaq: CPST) in Los Angeles, have a combined system generating capacity of 60 kw, and provide about one-third of the electricity needed to run the plant, which results in about $40,000 in savings annually on the facility’s electric bills.

The microturbines replaced a less-efficient diesel generator which was at the end of its useful life.  The new units are expected to cut atmospheric emissions by 90 percent compared to the old diesel generator, reducing emissions by 30 tons annually.

Microturbines are small turbo-generators (combustion turbine devices) fueled in a number of ways, including the use of anaerobic digester gas (ADG) which is a “free fuel” produced through sewage treatment plant operations like those at Lewiston.  As with the older diesel system, previously used for cogeneration (producing electricity and heat), the Lewiston microturbines are powered with ADG, a renewable energy source, to make electricity for plant use and, for added energy efficiency, the heat generated is captured for use by the plant’s digestion process.  The microturbines began operating in late June 2001.

Installation of the microturbines cost $225,000.  The Power Authority provided $125,000 for purchase and delivery of the units, design and engineering services related to demolition of the old system and installation of the new units, and technical support for all aspects of the project.  The Town of Lewiston did much of the demolition, site preparation and installation work.  The other $100,000 came from the Petroleum Overcharge Restitution (POCR) fund made available to the state from oil company overcharges in the 1970s.

Capstone’s 30- and 60-kw microturbines are the only commercially available generators of any kind tested and approved for distributed generation grid interconnection by the New York State Department of Public Service.

The Lewiston Water Pollution Control Center is located at 501 Pletcher Road in Lewiston and, in addition to the Town of Lewiston, it serves the Town of Porter and the Villages of Lewiston and Youngstown.