SAN FRANCISCO, August 30, 2021– (BUSINESS WIRE) – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced the deployment of a “linear generator” – a new mobile power generation technology using natural gas and renewable directed biogas for replace existing diesel production – on its Angwin distribution grid micro-grid site in Napa County.
Working with a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and Mainspring Energy, PG&E has deployed the Mainspring Linear Generator as part of its commitment to integrate cleaner generation solutions for alternate power in emergencies such as storms. winter or earthquakes; and public safety power outage (PSPS) events. .
Currently, PG&E is strategically deploying mobile diesel generators in its service area during emergencies and PSPS outages to quickly revitalize thousands of customers. These generators are grid-connected at substations, distribution micro-grid sites, community resource centers and critical facilities as needed and available.
The objective of the pilot project is to demonstrate the performance of a new technology for the production of cleaner electricity in a PG&E distribution micro-grid. The linear generator will be combined with the on-site diesel generator to provide reliable service to the Angwin community, and PG&E will investigate whether the hybrid solution can reduce diesel consumption and emissions in the event of an emergency or PSPS events this year. .
The pilot deployment follows a rigorous testing program by PG&E and Mainspring at Mainspring’s facilities in Menlo Park this spring, and months of collaboration between PG&E and Mainspring engineers.
“We know how important clean, reliable energy is to our customers and our communities. We are excited to explore new technologies like the Linear Generator to help keep customers powered during larger outages while reducing the use of diesel back-up generation. This is a low emissions, resilient and affordable alternative that holds great promise for our future, ”said Jason Glickman, Executive Vice President, Engineering, Planning and Strategy, PG&E.
A creative and renewable approach
The subsidiaries of NextEra Energy Resources provide PG&E with a diversified portfolio of nearly 1,000 megawatts of wind, solar and now linear generation. Under the agreement, NextEra Energy Resources provided financing for the deployment of the linear generator, as part of its recently announced $ 150 million purchase and financing agreement with Mainspring.
For Angwin’s deployment, the linear generator is connected to both PG & E’s electrical distribution system and its natural gas distribution system. NextEra Energy Resources purchases biogas which is produced in a renewable manner at another site. The purchased biogas is processed and injected into the existing gas distribution infrastructure, thus offsetting the natural gas consumption of the linear generator.
“NextEra Energy Resources sees great potential for new technologies like the Mainspring Linear Generator to deliver reliable, inexpensive, and clean power to California and beyond,” said Matt Ulman, vice president of distributed generation for NextEra Energy Resources. “It’s important to launch field pilots for real-world testing, and we’re excited to enable innovative projects that provide resilience to keep the lights on in businesses and homes. “
Mainspring linear generator
Mainspring’s breakthrough technology, based on research originally conducted by the company’s co-founders at Stanford University, is designed to meet grid demands by providing distributable and flexible energy in fuel that dramatically reduces costs and carbon today, while accelerating the transition to the net-zero carbon grid.
One of the unique features of the Mainspring 240 kilowatt linear generator is that it can move up and down quickly to meet load power demands at a fraction of the emissions of reciprocating engine technologies.
“Extreme weather events and the rise of electrification are driving a growing demand for resilient power grid at affordable costs. At the same time, we need to move quickly towards a net zero carbon network, ”said Shannon Miller, CEO of Mainspring. “Mainspring designed our platform to meet this challenge, and we are proud that our product is now deployed to help PG&E and its customers meet these challenges and provide them with a cleaner, more resilient and affordable source of energy. “
A linear generator, separate from an engine, microturbine, or fuel cell, is a device that directly converts motion along a straight line into electricity using chemical or thermal energy. Mainspring’s linear generator design uses a low temperature reaction of air and fuel to drive magnets through copper coils to efficiently generate electricity. This innovative design, combined with the company’s proprietary adaptive control software, enables high efficiency, near-zero NOx emissions, full split and seamless switching between fuels.
The product achieves low investment and maintenance costs through the use of standard materials, only two moving parts, and an innovative air bearing system that eliminates the need for oil. It works without the use of complex mechanical systems or expensive catalysts.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is a combined natural gas and electricity utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in northern and central California . For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
About NextEra energy resources
NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a leader in clean energy and one of the largest wholesale producers of electricity in the United States, with a total net generating capacity of approximately 23,900 megawatts, primarily in 38 states and in Canada at the end of 2020. NextEra Energy Resources, along with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest producer of renewable energy from wind and sun on the basis of 2020 megawatt hours produced on a net production basis , and a world leader in battery storage. The company operates clean, emission-free nuclear power generation facilities in New Hampshire and Wisconsin as part of NextEra Energy’s nuclear fleet. NextEra Energy Resources, LLC is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy, Inc., based in Juno Beach, Florida (NYSE: NEE). For more information, visit www.NextEraEnergyResources.com.
About Mainspring Energy
Driven by its vision of the affordable, reliable and zero-carbon grid of the future, Mainspring offers a new category of power generation – the linear generator – that provides on-site, distributable and flexible energy at low cost. Based in Menlo Park, California, Mainspring is backed by leading strategic and financial investors. www.mainspringenergy.com.
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