Capstone Brings Power Plant to Santa Fe Hilton

June 10, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

Capstone Turbine Corp. (Chatsworth, CA) announced that one of its Capstone microturbines is being used in an innovative power generation project under way on the rooftop of the Santa Fe Hilton. The PNM-owned, natural gas-powered, microturbine is now producing electricity from the unit's exhaust to heat the hotel's outdoor swimming pool. In the future, the Hilton also plans to use the heat for domestic water use within the hotel.

The microturbine, about the size of a large refrigerator, is the second of two units installed in Santa Fe as part of a PNM demonstration project designed to document and study the performance of the microturbines. The first unit has been producing electricity at St. Vincent Hospital for more than a year. The St. Vincent unit is also being used to heat water.

The unit at the Hilton of Santa Fe is rated to produce up to 28kW of electricity, or enough to power about 20 average-sized homes. The unit at St. Vincent Hospital is rated to produce up to 60kW of electricity, or enough to supply 43 average-sized homes. Each unit supplies only a portion of the electricity needed to meet demand at the facility where it is located.