Cat® power stands up to Hurricane Sandy

Cat power stands up to hurricane sandy

Cogeneration kept wastewater plant going during Superstorm Sandy


In 2012, Superstorm Sandy devastated New York City and the Jersey Shore. But despite a storm surge more than 10 feet above normal, the Joint Meeting of Essex & Union Counties wastewater plant in Elizabeth, N.J., never shut down. Throughout the power outage the treatment facility operated on power produced by its onsite cogeneration facility. Cat® generator sets kept the facility going to treat all of the raw sewage that entered the facility. 


Three Cat G3516 generator sets run on either piped natural gas or the methane gas from two large anaerobic digesters, and a fourth serves as standby for scheduled maintenance. The Cat system produces 2.4 MW of power, enough to provide 92 percent of the power needed to run the wastewater plant and 80 percent of the power for the whole facility.

In 2009, Cat dealer Foley Power Systems worked with Joint Meeting to design a new cogeneration system. Joint Meeting was concerned about the reliability of utility power. Power cables failed in the wintertime or during heavy rainstorms, interrupting power to the plant. New Jersey environmental regulators were planning to impose heavy fines and require the installation of standby generators. Joint Meeting countered with the cogeneration system. Now the plant uses all the waste gas that used to be flared plus saving $2.2 million annually in electric power it would otherwise purchase from the grid.

Foley technicians come as needed and work with Joint Meeting staff when they service the equipment. “Uptime with the Cat gas engines has been very good,” says facility superintendent Steve Dowhan.




This standby gen set is capable of accepting 100% rated load in a single step and engineered to deliver unmatched flexibility, expandability, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.



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