Project Details

Site OwnerCosta Guyra
Commission Date2021
Fuel SourceLPG / LNG / CNG
FacilityGlasshouse
LocationGuyra, NSW
System ApplicationQuad-generation

Description

Costa Group's Guyra-based glasshouses, known for their premium tomato production supplying major and independent retailers, have long been a cornerstone of the local community's economic and social stability. Established in 1928 as a small fruit shop by Italian migrant Tony Costa and later expanded into a wholesale provedore by his sons, Frank and Adrian, this enterprise has grown into one of Australia's leading horticultural firms.

However, as Costa Group planned to expand with a new glasshouse and propagation nursery, they recognized that their energy demands would soon exceed the grid's capacity. To address this, Optimal Group stepped in to provide a comprehensive energy solution. This solution centred on the installation of a Capstone microturbine configuration for power generation, accompanied by a specialized heat recovery module (HRM), two co-fired burners, and a custom cooling system designed to extract hot water and cool exhaust for CO2 fertigation.

Costa Group, a company attuned to the significance of technological investment, eagerly embraced this forward-thinking proposal. The solution's energy efficiency aligned with Costa's track record of resource-efficient practices, exemplified by their ability to optimize food production while conserving water during Guyra's challenging drought periods. The 800kW microturbine that we shipped can also be easily upgraded if the Guyra decides to expand again in future.

The availability of an energy system or solution is also crucial for Costa and many other protected crop growers, and this is another area where the Capstone microturbines shine. As the turbines can run at low loads, including being able to turn all the way down to 0%, on top of being able to load follow easily, there is a much larger range of conditions in which the turbine will be available to provide power. This is also an important factor to consider when integrating with renewable generation systems in which the output is variable, such as Solar PV.

Furthermore, this solution contributes to Costa Group's carbon reduction efforts, as microturbines produce exceptionally low emissions, further complemented by emissions reduction through quad-generation. With more and more protected cropping farmers becoming concerned about climate change and how greenhouse gases emitted by their facilities might worsen that, this is a more significant factor than it has ever been. As a company that is already very committed to sustainability and protecting the environment, Costa Group was very happy about this aspect of the solution.