Ultrasystems Gets Mini-Power Plant Pact

Times Staff Writer

Irvine-based Ultrasystems Inc. said it has received a contract to provide energy-saving, micropower plants to six restaurants owned by Grace Restaurant Co. If the test program is satisfactory to Grace, the systems eventually will be added in "as many as possible" of the company's 389 restaurants in eight states, said Ultrasystems.

Ultrasystems also announced a deal, valued at $1 million to $2 million, to provide energy management services for 122 restaurants owned by Grace. Under the agreement, Ultrasystem's Micro Cogen Systems Inc. subsidiary will use automated equipment to pare energy costs at 122 Coco's restaurants by monitoring and controlling the heating, cooling and lighting systems.

Ultrasystems anticipates that installation and sales of the micropower plants at Grace restaurants and at other facilities could add as much as $20 million to its annual revenues by 1989, said Russell Greengard, senior vice president.

The mini-power plants use a natural-gas-powered engine that drives a generator to produce electricity that supplements conventional energy sources.

Under the test program announced with Grace, the Micro Systems subsidiary will provide the mini-power plants to San Diego outlets of Coco's, Reuben's, Reuben E. Lee, Carrow's and a Reuben/Coco's, plus a Carrow's in Bakersfield.

San Diego was targeted by Ultrasystems as a major marketplace for its co-generation units because electrical costs there are among the highest in the nation.

William J. Boger, chief financial officer of Grace Restaurant Co., estimated that Irvine-based Grace could save up to 20%--or as much as $3 million annually--in electric and gas costs if the system is installed in most of its restaurants.

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