The County of Riverside had invested millions of dollars into the installation of a 1.5 megawatt cogeneration system located at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta, CA. Shortly after full commissioning, the system suffered catastrophic failure, and after repeated attempts to revive the plant failed, it was abandoned by installation contractors and commissioning groups. GI Energy was called in to evaluate the overall condition of the plant and assess the possibility of getting the system operational again.
The Southwest Justice Center is a correctional facility that runs 24/7 in one of the hottest areas in California. They use a tremendous amount of energy to keep the facility operating, and trouble keeping up with heating and cooling demands. With spiraling utility costs, the Southwest Justice Center was forced to examine alternative energy sources. The cogeneration system was a perfect fit because it generates electricity efficiently and cost effectively on site, and captures waste heat for space heating or air conditioning purposes. The challenge for us was to try to save a system that was badly damaged, having been poorly designed and constructed by a 3rd party.
Our expert managers and technicians evaluated the damage to the plant, and put together a comprehensive and extremely cost effective proposal for repair, which was hundreds of thousands of dollars lower than the next bidder. We also re-designed the plant to simple OEM standards, essential to successful plant operation and continued reliability.
After completing the repairs and modifications, GI Energy executed a long term service contract with the County of Riverside in 2011, and the site has enjoyed 95% reliability and above since then. The Justice Center is now generating 1.5 megawatts of electricity on site at a fraction of the cost of buying power from the grid. At the same time, it is recovering waste heat which is used for their space heating and cooling needs, saving the facility hundreds of thousands of dollars annually. The chilled water is especially valuable to the justice center because of the way that it complements their ice storage system allowing them to keep up with even the highest demand days efficiently and cost effectively, while reducing green house gases, carbon emissions and helping to quell global warming.