The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing four facilities with the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) award for using innovative techniques to generate power and thermal energy. These facilities are Gainesville Regional Utilities, Eastern Maine Medical Center, Port Arthur Steam Energy and Landis Sewerage Authority.
These techniques and systems all resulted in energy savings, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and decreased air pollution, says EPA.
The Gainesville Regional Utilities and Eastern Maine Medical Center CHP systems achieve operating efficiencies ranging from 60 percent to 70 percent compared to the efficiency of separate production of electricity and thermal energy, which is typically less than 50 percent.
The Port Arthur Steam Energy (PASE) and Landis Sewerage Authority (LSA) CHP systems use otherwise wasted energy to generate electricity and produce thermal energy for use in industrial processes.
The PASE CHP system displaces 100 percent of the fuel that would be used by typical on-site thermal generation and purchased electricity, which reduces CO2 emissions by more than 159,000 tons per year.
The LSA CHP system requires approximately 34 percent less fuel than would be used by a typical energy supply system, which reduces CO2 emissions by more than 800 tons per year.
EPA explains that CHP is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single energy source, such as natural gas, biomass, coal, or waste heat, and it is not a single technology, but rather an integrated energy system that can be modified to suit the specific needs of the energy user.
The CHP Partnership, established in 2001, is a voluntary program that encourages the use of CHP to reduce the environmental impact of power generation.
Click here for more information about the winners.
Over the past year, several organizations including hospitals have turned to CHP systems for their energy needs. These include the University Medical Center of Princeton, University of British Columbia, Cornell University, and a Coca-Cola bottler.