Cogeneration for tomato and lettuce greenhouse operations in Machecoul, France

Clarke Energy has installed two of the latest flexible, high output and efficient GE Jenbacher J624 two-stage turbocharged gas engines at French grower Serres Vinet. They are now able to generate all of the hot water and electricity required for its extensive tomato and lettuce greenhouse operations in Machecoul, in the Loire-Atlantique region. These are the first two-stage turbocharged gas engines in France, and they are the heart of two cogeneration plants powering Serres Vinet’s existing greenhouse operations plus a recent 17-hectare (42-acre) expansion.

The units with GE’s ecomagination-approved combined heat and power solution complement a 13-megawatt (MW) wood biomass-fired boiler and a 20-MW gas boiler and give Serres Vinet the flexibility to switch among electrical energy, thermal energy and fuel sources as economics dictate. Thereby, this allows the customer to generate revenue during the winter months by selling electricity into the public power grid.

Their performance has been so impressive that Forclum, Clarke Energy’s customer on this project and a unit of Eiffage S.A. involved with engineering, procurement and construction, has purchased two additional units from Clarke Energy France. They will be delivered to another French grower’s greenhouse operations. “The efficiency, flexibility and reliability of these two-stage turbo-charged gas engines since they were commissioned in January are outstanding,” said Gilles Marguerat, director of the power production department at Forclum. “We view GE’s Jenbacher gas engines as a powerful tool we can offer our customers to help them gain energy independence and flexibility in operations.” No other gas engine manufacturer currently offers such a super-efficient two-stage turbocharged unit.

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