Cogentrix Energy to Save More Than 3 Million Gallons of Water Annually with GE Technology and Expertise

GE (NYSE: GE) is honoring Cogentrix Energy, LLC today with a GE ecomagination Leadership Award for achievements in water reuse. Cogentrix’s 120-megawatt power plant in Battleboro, N.C. has implemented a solution to conserve an estimated 3 million gallons of water annually, or the equivalent to approximately 22 percent of its current water usage, greatly reducing its dependence on municipal freshwater sources impacted by a historic drought that ended earlier this year.

These water-saving measures implemented by Cogentrix will be a significant relief to Battleboro, as the region recovers from a two-year drought that affected large areas of North Carolina, including Edgecombe County, where the Cogentrix plant is located. It was the state’s worst drought since record keeping began and prompted municipalities throughout the region to implement water-saving measures. One of the major rivers in northeastern North Carolina, the Tar River, which flows through Battleboro and nearby Rocky Mount, partially dried up at the height of the drought, imperiling marine life and impacting wetlands as well as freshwater aquifers.

Cogentrix sought a solution to improve the overall performance of its cooling system, which was experiencing significant scaling and fouling, resulting in decreased efficiencies, high operational costs and a significant dependence on municipal water for operations. Cooling water discharge posed another challenge, given tight state sampling requirements and more stringent regulations around discharge into the Tar River.

GE provided technology and expertise that enabled the plant to use recycled cooling tower water for lime slakers and pug mills. GE’s patented technology, including GenGard chemistry, will enable Cogentrix to reuse more than 3 million gallons of water on an annual basis, reducing the need to tap local fresh water sources and eliminating blowdown discharged into the Tar River. The solution has also increased the efficiency of the cooling tower system, by chemically reducing scaling and fouling, and operational costs have been reduced.

The GE ecomagination Leadership Award is given to the top 1 percentile of GE’s water and process technologies customers who demonstrate significant environmental and economical performance improvements, striking a balance among today’s environmental, industrial and sustainability challenges.

“This award exemplifies Cogentrix’s commitment to providing sustainable power solutions by maximizing productivity while reducing environmental impact. We are pleased to present Cogentrix with an ecomagination Leadership Award in recognition for their significant efforts in water reuse,” said Adrian Peace, business leader for water and process technologies—North America for GE Power & Water. “We will continue to work with the Cogentrix team to realize additional water and energy savings as well as further efficiencies.”

GE’s ecomagination commitment is both a business strategy for growth at GE and a promise to contribute positively to the environment in the process. As part of that commitment, GE has pledged to reduce its own fresh water use by 20 percent by 2010. That is one of the world’s most aggressive corporate water targets to date, and it is expected to free up 7.4 million cubic meters (2 billion gallons) of fresh water a year—enough water to fill more than 3,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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