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Capstone Turbine Corporation (www.capstoneturbine.com) (Nasdaq:CPST), the world's leading clean technology manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, announced an order for a C1000 Signature Series unit to be deployed on another flare gas-to-energy project in Los Angeles, California.

The order comes on the heels of a late December 2017 order for two C1000 Signature Series microturbines to power an oil and gas site in California. Cal Microturbine, one of Capstone’s distributors for California, secured both orders.

The customer, an oil and gas production facility, previously opted to sell the produced natural gas, as opposed to flaring it and releasing the harmful gas into the air. However, the customer realized that it could obtain the financial benefits from using the gas to generate onsite electricity, while also avoiding the environmental impact of flaring, a combined result that far outweighed the value of simply selling the raw commodity. Cal Microturbine expects the project to be commissioned this summer.

The World Bank reports that between 150 to 170 billion cubic meters of gases are flared or vented annually, an amount valued at about $30.6 billion, equivalent to 25% of the United States’ natural gas consumption or 30% of the European Union’s natural gas consumption annually.

“Fortunately, this California oil and gas producer was environmentally conscious by capturing and selling its associated natural gas. Unfortunately, that is still the exception and not the rule in far too many instances in the U.S. and around the world,” said Darren Jamison, President and Chief Executive Officer of Capstone. “The flaring of associated gas is a senseless and old-fashioned practice that wastes precious natural resources while simultaneously contributing to global warming. Typically, it is both economically and environmentally smarter to capture and utilize associated gas in a low emission technology like microturbines,” added Mr. Jamison.

Flaring associated gas releases methane, a greenhouse gas that, when released directly into the air, traps heat in the atmosphere. The process of flaring contributes directly to global warming. Flaring has a substantial impact on the health and environment of landowners who live near a flared well. The methane release can be smelly, noisy, and, according to the National Institute of Health, exposure can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and loss of coordination in people and animals. In addition, it creates a 24x7 bright light, blocking out the night sky.

Capstone microturbines are able to use the associated natural gas as an input fuel source without any gas pre-treatment. This allows the end-use customer to monetize the associated gas, keep operational costs low by not needing extra fuel-cleaning equipment and significantly reduce the negative impact on the local environment. 

“We are seeing increased interest in reducing utility costs from oil and gas clients in California,” said Jim Crouse, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Capstone. “These clients are realizing that they can derive more value from their produced associated natural gas by using it to generate electricity onsite than they can by flaring it or selling it on the wholesale market,” added Mr. Crouse.

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