PanCanadian's Capstone MicroTurbine MultiPac Surpasses 6000 Hours of Non-Stop Operation; Using Flare Gas as Fuel, Six MicroTurbines Providing Prime Power at Remote Oilfield

Operating hours for the Capstone MicroTurbine(TM) systems in this 3-pack housing each have exceeded 6,000 hours at maximum output with 100 percent availability.

Published: 05-Dec-2000

CALGARY, Canada--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 5, 2000--At a remote PanCanadian Petroleum oilfield in Alberta -- miles from the nearest power lines -- three microturbine power systems from Capstone Turbine Corp. (Nasdaq:CPST) have been quietly powering the operation's four-well production equipment for the last nine months by converting waste gas into onsite electricity with virtually no pollution.

Operating hours for the Capstone MicroTurbine(TM) systems in this 3-pack housing each have exceeded 6,000 hours at maximum output with 100 percent availability. The operation has been so successful, PanCanadian installed and commissioned a second 90 kilowatt 3-pack on Nov. 16, 2000, at their Pelican Lake site.

"We are looking for ways to expand and improve our power supply options, as well as ways to reduce flaring and venting of oilfield gases," said Terry Becker, senior electrical engineer, Energy Management with PanCanadian Energy Services. "Capstone MicroTurbines are providing solutions to both these issues," allowing PanCanadian and other oil and gas producers to reduce emissions, improve the reliability and quality of their power supply, and lower operating costs.

"Capstone has long recognized the potential for microturbines in oilfield applications. In 1996 we began a focused development program to ensure that our products could meet this industry's rigorous requirements," said Dr. Ake Almgren, president & CEO of Capstone Turbine. "Vital, real-world lessons were learned from these efforts, and PanCanadian was one of our early development partners.

"They made available invaluable testing applications that provided Capstone a wealth of information to design our commercial systems to be robust, reliable and capable of accepting low-grade `sour' gases that other types of generators are not able to accept."

Several other Capstone MicroTurbine systems are operating on wellhead gas at other PanCanadian Petroleum sites.

Capstone MicroTurbine systems can use natural gas, methane, propane, diesel, kerosene or, in this case, unprocessed solution gas directly from the wellhead to generate electricity. Capstone MicroTurbines are characterized by extremely low NOx emissions, have a single moving assembly, and use no oil or coolants. These aspects minimize anticipated maintenance needs and lead to Capstone's target "uptime" availability of 98 percent or more.

The company recommends an air and fuel filter replacement every 8,000 hours of operation, and an injector and spark plug replacement every 16,000 hours.

However, one of the first Capstone MicroTurbine installations -- at a Southern Union Company ( (NYSE:SUG) office in Galveston, Texas -- has operated in load-following mode with more than 99 percent availability for nearly 15,000 hours without any maintenance.

That unit's only downtime has been for customer demonstrations and brief utility-mandated switching events when the local electric grid went down or had a significant fluctuation.

About Capstone Turbine Corp.

Capstone Turbine ( is a leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems. In 1998, Capstone was the first to offer commercial power products utilizing microturbine technology, the result of more than 10 years of focused research. Worldwide, hundreds of commercial production Capstone MicroTurbine systems serve, among others, the following applications:

-- Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs): onboard generation

-- Resource recovery: converting oilfield and biomass waste gases

into electricity

-- Micro-cogeneration: combined heat/power/chilling solutions

-- The 9s market: power quality and reliability

This news release contains "forward-looking statements," as that term is used in the federal securities laws, about Capstone's business, including statements regarding expected growth in applications over the next several years. Readers can find many of these statements by looking for words such as "believes," "expects," anticipates," "estimates" or similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties that may cause Capstone's actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied in such statements. These risks and uncertainties include those risks, uncertainties and risk factors identified, among other places, under "Risk Factors" in Capstone's registration statement on Form S-1, SEC File No. 333-48524. Capstone cautions readers not to place undue reliance on these statements, which speak only as of the date of this release. Capstone undertakes no obligation to release any revisions to any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

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