A new 2 MW on-site Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system will soon be operational at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (UCMC) in Bel Air, Md. The CHP system will serve as the primary power source for the hospital’s electrical load, working in parallel with the local electrical utility.
During a prolonged grid outage, the CHP and the existing hospital emergency generator can maintain more than 60 percent of the University of Maryland Medical System (UCMC) healthcare loads. The system consists of a 2 MW natural gas fired generator, a 350-ton absorption chiller, a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), a cooling tower and associated pumps, heat exchangers and auxiliary equipment and controls. Waste heat from the exhaust of the engine will be captured and converted to steam via the heat recovery steam boiler. The steam generated will be utilized in the absorption chiller, building steam loop and at times converted for use in other hydronic systems, thereby eliminating the need to purchase additional electricity for operation.
The hospital signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Energy and Structured Finance, wherein ESF provides performance guarantees and the hospital commits to purchase all the electricity produced by the CHP system. ESF is the owner of the system, designed by TMR Engineering of Arlington, VA, and the hospital has options to purchase the project from ESF. The UCMC project was the first recipient of the Empower Maryland CHP incentive program, receiving $1.5 million of funds under this program.