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For immediate release: November 14, 2002
Media Contact: Percy Della - 916-654-4989

State Energy Officials to Visit
Napa-Area Research Project

Napa, California - The Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions, Inc. (ASERTTI) is holding its fall meeting in Napa until Friday, November 15, 2002. The association's agenda includes a visit to the first commercial application of a gas turbine system that greatly reduces air emissions from electricity generation.

ASERTTI is a group of state energy officials seeking to avoid wasteful duplication of research and development projects. At 5:45 p.m., Thursday, November 14, ASERTTI members will observe first hand the operation of the turbine at the power plant of the state-run Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC) home to developmentally disabled people in Eldridge, near Napa.

The 1.4-megawatt Kawasaki gas turbine had been retrofitted by Kawasaki engineers with the Xonon Cool Combustion system from Catalytica Energy Systems of Mountain View. The retrofit enables the gas turbine to operate with a 90 percent reduction in nitrogen oxides (NOx) to less than three parts per million, without exhaust gas clean up.

The SDC is the largest of five facilities for the developmentally-disabled run by the California Department of Developmental Services. The SDC has been operating a Kawasaki co-generation unit for the past 12 years to provide supplemental heat and power for a staff of 2,200 and 850 residents across 120 buildings.

The Xonon Cool Combustion will eliminate the potential for emissions-related operating restrictions by enabling a significant reduction in NOx levels to comply with increasingly stringent requirements in the State of California.

Funding for the multi-million dollar project came from the Department of Developmental Services, Kawasaki, Catalytica, the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission. Through an interagency agreement, the Energy Commission contributed $105,000 to the demonstration of this clean turbine combustion system. Funds came from the Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

The PIER program has partnered with Catalytica for the past four years, and has invested more than $1.3 million to support development of the Xonon technology.

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Attention reporters: Catalytica contacts on site are:

Tom Morjig, (cell) 650-444-6900; and Megan Ravel, 650-799-7307.

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