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Marshalls will showcase power plant energy savings

W hen over a hundred Pacific island power utility officials meet for their annual conference in Majuro next year, they will see new heat recovery generators in action at the capital city’s power plant. Majuro is the first island in the Pacific to see an investment in waste-heat-to-power equipment by General Electric’s Power and Water Heat Recovery Solutions. An agreement signed at the beginning of September by Marshalls Energy Company and GE Power and Water Health Recovery Solutions officials paves the way for GE’s US$2.4 million investment at the Majuro utility company’s main power station. It is not only GE’s first energy efficiency investment in the island region, it is the first United States company to invest in the Marshall Islands in decades.

The new equipment will reduce the utility’s fuel costs while cutting its carbon emissions, said Marshalls Energy Company General Manager David Paul. He touts the investment as a key demonstration that small islands can and should take steps to curb carbon emissions, even if the pollution generated by tiny population is miniscule by world standards. Paul says the deal will improve the utility company’s financial outlook, while showing the rest of the world that the Marshall Islands is taking steps to reduce pollution that is causing global warming.

The new system, expected to be up and running by early 2015, will: • Generate about 1.6 million kilowatt hours per year, which translates into potential electricity revenue of US$725,000 a year. • Result in reducing fuel use at the power plant of up to 100,000 gallons a year, a savings of over US$300,000 at current fuel prices. The U.S. company is financing the entire $2.4 million cost of equipment and installation, which will also involved Marshall Islands power plant engineers.

The utility will pay GE 85 percent of the fuel savings up to a maximum of $20,000 per month for the next 10 years. A key element of the deal is GE is guaranteeing performance of the system, with financial benefits to the Majuro utility if it under-performs.

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