Bates Troy Puts Cogen System Online

Posted May 29, 2015 at 12:01 pm

Bates Troy Inc., Binghamton, NY, recently reduced its energy use, while enhancing its ability to serve customers by bringing a combined heat and power, or “cogen” system, online at its Laurel Avenue plant.

Following a Wednesday announcement, Bates Troy confirmed that the system is now fully operational and capable of producing enough power to run the company’s 53,000-square-foot plant off the electrical grid, according to a news release.

This system redundancy enables Bates Troy to guarantee service to its healthcare customers, including Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, United Health Services and the Veterans Administration Hospital in Wilkes-Barre, PA; even in cases of long-term power outages.

“Our new cogen system achieves many goals,” said President and CEO Brian Kradjian. “First and foremost it protects our important healthcare partners and their institutions and patients. It guarantees them the material they need to care for their patients. Second, it allows us to mitigate energy cost increases. Finally, it allows Bates Troy to remain competitive and expand into out-of-state markets, thereby increasing employment in New York state.”

The hilly region around New York’s “Southern Tier” has experienced “500-year” floods twice in the past decade, the release said. The cogen system will enable Bates Troy to “island” itself from the electrical grid during power outages, thus ensuring continued and seamless operation of its facility.

The system Bates Troy installed includes four, 100- kilowatt Tecogen Inverde units for a total output of 400 kilowatts. That’s enough power to supply electricity to roughly 80 homes. Bates Troy has worked on installing the system with Tecogen, a manufacturer based in Massachusetts; and Quantum Electric, a local contractor.

The project began four years ago and was ready for a kickoff in July 2012 with an initial New York state Consolidated Funding Application. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the Empire State Development (ESD) agencies partnered on behalf of the project as part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s (D) “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV) program. REV represents a comprehensive energy strategy aimed at building a next-generation energy system that’s clean, resilient and affordable for state residents, the release said. 

“Bates Troy’s investment in CHP technology demonstrates the benefits of ‘distributed generation,’ a key component of Gov. Cuomo’s REV,” said John B. Rhoades, president and CEO of NYSERDA. “This project will not only reduce the laundry services’ energy use. It will also assure hospitals and medical centers in the Binghamton area that a vital supplier will remain operational during power outages.”

The ability to guarantee continuing service to clients also has served as an important marketing tool for Bates Troy, which says it’s added 20 new jobs as a result of the project.

Another partner on the project, Ron Kamen, CEO of Earthkind Energy, said that the cogen system makes better use of the natural gas required to process the 30 tons of textiles that the company launders daily.

“What cogen, or combined heat and power (CHP) does is that is takes that gas and instead of just producing hot water, it produces that hot water, but it also spins a turbine. And out of that turbine, you get electricity.” For additional background on the project, click here, here and here