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Hornblower Hybrid Yacht Wins Capstone Turbine Corp Contest

Hornblower Cruises & Events was named the winner of Capstone Turbine Corporation’s (Nasdaq:CPST) Microturbine Power Marine Contest. Capstone is the world’s leading clean technology manufacturer of microturbine energy systems.

In late 2013, Capstone challenged marine professionals around the world to explore the benefits of microturbine technology with a contest to win up to 130kW of free Capstone microturbine power for their vessel. After careful consideration, Capstone selected Hornblower and the Hornblower Hybrid yacht using contest criteria based on economics, performance, and application of the solution.

Hornblower promotes their hybrid yachts as the greenest and most innovative dinner and sightseeing cruise ships on the water, boasting leading edge technology, creative cuisine, and signature Hornblower service. Instead of idling at the dock or burning diesel to keep the lights on, a standard practice in the industry, the Hornblower Hybrid switches from diesel power to battery mode to save fuel and reduce emissions. In addition, the Hornblower Hybrid reduces annual diesel consumption by more than 29,000 gallons! That is equivalent to taking 58 cars off the road permanently or planting 90 acres of trees. The hybrid boat uses approximately six gallons of diesel fuel per hour, compared to 30 gallons per hour used by a conventional ferryboat.

Working side-by-side with American Traction Systems (ATS), makers of solid-state electric traction and propulsion systems, Capstone will upgrade the New York Hornblower Hybrid with a custom C65 microturbine to help power the ship. The microturbine will produce DC power using Capstone’s standard hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) components mounted in a heavy duty industrial enclosure.

Deployed in a highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) marine application, the microturbine will also satisfy the hot water needs of the vessel. This innovative microturbine solution is expected to be commissioned in early 2015.

“ATS worked with Hornblower to commission the very first US Coast Guard approved hybrid passenger ferries in the United States,” said Larry Machak, Business Development Manager at American Traction Systems. “The ATS hybrid propulsion system will integrate seamlessly with Capstone’s microturbine generator to allow for vessel operation at the most efficient load point,” added Machak.

“Capstone looks forward to working with an innovative company like Hornblower to provide clean and efficient power to such an eco-friendly vessel,” said Jim Crouse, Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Capstone Turbine. “Microturbines are ideal for power generation in marine applications because of their ultra-low emissions, minimal maintenance, small footprint, ease of installation, quiet operation, and lack of lubricants and coolants,” added Crouse.

Capstone Turbine Corporation is the world’s leading producer of low-emission microturbine systems and was the first to market commercially viable microturbine energy products. Capstone Turbine has shipped approximately 8,000 Capstone Microturbine systems to customers worldwide. These award-winning systems have logged millions of documented runtime operating hours. Capstone is headquartered in the Los Angeles area with sales and/or service centers in the New York Metro Area, United Kingdom, Mexico City, Shanghai and Singapore.

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