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Baintree’s Municipal Utility Testing On-Site Energy Systems for Residential Customers

| Written by John Farrell | No Comments | Updated on Dec 2, 2005 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at

Baintree Electric Light Department (BELD) is partnering with Climate Energy to install and test out a 1 kW Micro-CHP (combined heat and power) systems. The units consists of a natural gas-powered Honda generator tied to a high-efficiency furnace.

This announcement is welcome news for small-scale power in the U.S. Unlike in Europe and Japan, the testing or installation of residential sized CHP units is relatively rare in this country. According to Climate Energy, about 20,000 Japanese households are equipped with the combined heating and power units.

Joseph Morley, BELD’s engineering manager was quoted in local media saying, "If we had 1,000 units out there running, we’d produce one megawatt of electricity that we wouldn’t have to produce here at the plant and that we wouldn’t have to add to the transmission systems."

Morley volunteered BELD to serve as a test site for one of Climate Energy’s systems. The unit was installed last month and will be monitored by both BELD engineers and Climate Energy staff. The BELD unit is believed to be the first unit of its kind commercially installed in the United States.

BELD supplies electric service to approximately 14,000 residential and business customers in the town of Braintree, MA. In addition to receiving power from many units within the New England electric grid, BELD owns a 96-megawatt (MW) power plant that is dual-fired with oil and natural gas and a 2.25 MW diesel unit that runs during peak load situations.


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About John Farrell

John Farrell directs the Energy Democracy initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and he develops tools that allow communities to take charge of their energy future, and pursue the maximum economic benefits of the transition to 100% renewable power. More

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