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CONSOL Energy Demonstrates Alternative Power Generation Technology Using Ingersoll Rand Microturbine



PITTSBURGH, PA (INGERSOLL RAND NEWS SERVICE) -- CONSOL Energy Inc. has successfully demonstrated an alternative power generation technology featuring an Ingersoll Rand microturbine. In a first-of-its-kind project for the U.S., the 70-kilowatt microturbine uses unprocessed coal mine methane gas directly from an underground source to generate electricity for the company's Bailey Mine operations.

Installed as part of a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) project grant awarded to CONSOL Energy's Research and Development Group, the Ingersoll Rand microturbine is being used at the Bailey underground mine in western Greene County, PA. CONSOL Energy will donate the monetary value of the electricity generated during the first full year of operation of the microturbine to the West Greene School District.

Coal mine methane accounts for 10 percent of methane emissions caused by humans in the United States. Methane has a global warming potential 21 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2). By generating electricity from coal mine methane gas that is currently being vented, CONSOL is reducing emissions and generating value from a previously wasted resource.

Every year the 70-kilowatt microturbine generates approximately 500 megawatts of electricity while consuming approximately 8 million cubic feet of methane, which is approximately the same as taking 400 cars off the road and providing electricity to 40 homes.

"We've been able to demonstrate that this unit is an innovative way to harvest and use a greenhouse gas that would normally be vented into the atmosphere," said Nick DeIuliis, president and chief executive officer, CNX Gas Corporation, who partnered with CONSOL and Ingersoll Rand Energy Systems on this project. "If the economic evaluation is positive, this technology can be applied in coalfields either in isolated areas that may lack access to electricity transmission lines or at individual commercial power generation sites."

Kathleen McGinty, secretary of Pennsylvania's DEP, attended a dedication ceremony for the technology at the South Park, PA, facilities of CONSOL Energy's Research and Development Group, which is overseeing the project.

"Governor Rendell's energy and economic development initiatives are leveraging state and private funding to turn our environmental problems into business opportunities that create jobs and enhance the profitability of Pennsylvania companies," said Secretary McGinty. "Companies like CONSOL Energy are leading the way toward Pennsylvania's energy future, and Governor Rendell and I salute them for their vision and leadership."


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