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Palmyra goes ‘green’ -Tri-Gen plant can provide electricity using renewable energy

While most resorts use backup generator systems, Montego Bay’s Palmyra Resort and Spa has revolutionised the term self-sufficiency by constructing a US$20 million tri-generation plant capable providing electricity, steam and air conditioning.

Tri-Generation, or Tri-Gen, is the simultaneous production of mechanical power (often converted to electricity), heat and cooling from a single heat source such as fuel or solar energy.

The plant, which will commence operation on November 1, 14 days ahead of the opening of the 300-room resort, produces enough electric power to supply more than 250 typical North American homes and enough air conditioning to cool 425 units.

More interesting is the fact that the eco-friendly product boasts greenhouse emissions 95 per cent less than other generating plants in Jamaica and allows the hotel the capability to operate with or without the Jamaica Public Service (JPS). The system is hurricane resistant and houses on-site fuel that can last for over 20 days in the event of an emergency.

Revolutionary System

“The air conditioning is provided through by a distribution of chilled water throughout the buildings, while the laundry uses the steam provided by the plant,” said William Clark, president of Distributed Generation Marketing Services Jamaica Limited (DGMS), the company behind the revolutionary system which is the first in the Caribbean.

Normally in a power plant, only a small percentage of the energy from the fuel is utilised, but in Palmyra’s case, DGMS says that by recycling waste energy they have been able to make the three products.

“We chose generating systems that allow us to efficiently capture the heat and chilled water,” said Clark.

He explained that by using gas turbines that put out 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit of heat while making electricity, this is where their ability to use the heat to make other products came from.

Accordingly, the plant is nearly green and is able to save fuel because it uses LPG. “Cooking gas is lower in greenhouse gas emissions,” he stated, noting that there are plans to become 100 per cent green when they start using biogas, which can be harnessed from sewage.

And not only will this set them apart from their competitors, but it will also eliminate the plant having to import LPG.

The total installed system for the project will have an electrical generating capacity of approximately 3.2 megawatts, a steam capacity of 15,000 PPH (pounds per hour at 125PSI) and 1725 tons of refrigeration.

In addition to the two turbine driven cogeneration systems, two 600 kilowatt reciprocating engine driven generating systems will be installed to provide full backup for the Palmyra electrical load.

The designed redundancy and flexibility of installed generation, as well as the designed redundancy of the steam generating system, will allow the resort to continue normal operations during scheduled and unscheduled generator and Heat Recovery Steam Generator (HRSG) outages.


In the meantime, the DGMS says this is the process and will have in place before the plant is operational:

1. Complete environmental impact assessment (EIA) for construction and operation.

2. Received, and complying with the duly approve licences (construction, operation, and fuel storage) from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), resulting in the implementation of the following programmes:

Trade effluent and emissions control and monitoring programme.

Hazardous material (HAZMAT) control/handling programme.

Petroleum (LPG) storage, control and safety monitoring and emergency response programme.

Internal safety, fire protection and response programme.

Noise abatement and control

3. The plant is designed with immediate capability for additional green energy considerations;

Utilisation of natural/biofuels (biogas).

Utilisation of waste/sewage plant effluent water (grey water) for internal processes offsetting its water use from the area’s drinking water supply.

Category/ies:Jamaica News.
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