[PRMA Special Commercial Coverage] Rimco Cat Cogeneration
Organic Power in Vega Baja will take leftovers. For the renewable energy company, this is not waste but raw material that can be renewed into products such as animal feed and energy itself. Founded in 2015, the company takes in leftover organic material, for example byproducts of food manufacturing operations and restaurants, and processes them into food for animals. By the end of the year, the company will be able to convert these byproducts into a renewable fuel (biogas) that will be utilized to generate electrical power.
“We are now in the process of constructing an anaerobic digester, which will allow us to produce biogas that in turn is used to generate electric power,” said Brian Healy, chief operating officer and one of the co-founders of Organic Power. “Not only is it a natural biological process, but its benefits also go well beyond the ability to provide clean, renewable energy.”
Through anaerobic digestion, micro-organisms break down organic material in a closed space without oxygen. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, organic material used in this process may include food scraps, fats, oils and grease. The end product of anaerobic digestion is biogas.
Organic Power is already providing clean energy to clients such as Matosantos Commercial Corp and its manufacturing subsidiaries at Cabo Caribe Industrial Park in Vega Baja with a top-of-the-line Cat CG170-20 generator from Rimco, the local company that is the exclusive Caterpillar brand distributor in Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Eastern Caribbean.
“Right now, we provide electrical power utilizing propane gas as the fuel for the Rimco Cat generator, but once we get the anaerobic digester operating, we will be able to power the Cat generator with biogas and provide current and future clients with renewable energy,” Healy said. “Not only does it provide the benefit of a natural source of energy, but it also transforms what would have been waste, taking space in a landfill, into biogas, a valuable resource that can fuel important industries in Puerto Rico.”
Healy added that Rimco has been an essential partner in this process of developing systems to provide clean energy to clients. “At Rimco, they really have been our working partners, with first-rate technical and product-support capabilities, and attentive customer service. Rimco has worked hand in hand with us in this process, which adds to the development of our company and clients.”
Pedro Jiménez, Power Systems manager at Rimco, said that with cogeneration technology, customers can achieve more than 90% fuel efficiency in industrial, manufacturing and commercial operations. He also expressed the importance of having local and experienced product support, especially when the equipment is running 24/7 in a continuous power application.
At Organic Power, the exhaust from the Cat generator is also harnessed and used for the production of steam. This is an example of cogeneration, using both thermal and electrical energy produced by the generator. “Our cogeneration solutions not only allow our clients to run a cleaner operation, such as in the case of propane, natural gas or biogas, but also let them transform the exhaust gases of the Cat generator into energy,” Jiménez said. The steam generated from cogeneration, he added, may be used by a company as hot water for its processes or, in the case of a hotel or hospital, for use in absorption chillers for air-conditioning systems. “We provide cleaner solutions that help our clients reduce costs while helping protect the environment,” he said.