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Texas A&M, District Energy St. Paul Among Honorees for District Energy

October 7, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Energy Manage Texas A&MThe International District Energy Association recently gave 11 organizations awards for district energy. Selected by an international panel of experts, nine international entities received Awards of Excellence and two received Special Awards for Innovation and Integration of Renewable Energy, as follows:

Awards of Excellence: Texas A&M University (pictured); Aberdeen Heat & Power in Aberdeen, Scotland; Qatar Cool in Doha, Qatar; Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; Helsingin Energia in Helsinki, Finland; Falu Energi & Vatten in Falun, Sweden; Twence in Hengelo, The Netherlands; and District Energy St. Paul in St. Paul, Minn.

Special Recognition Awards for Innovation and for Integration of Renewable Energy were presented to: Fortum in Joensuu, Finland and Princess Nora University for Women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Texas A&M University received its award in recognition of its achievements in energy efficiency, resource optimization and environmental sustainability. Texas A&M University Utilities & Energy Services Department has added 50 MW of cogeneration to provide cooling, heating and power for over 60,000 occupants in 19 million square feet of space on the university campus, while cutting energy use by 45 percent per square foot since 2002.

The university’s CHP upgrade included a 32.5 MW gas turbine coupled to a 210klb/hr high pressure heat recovery steam generator. The HRSG sends steam to a new 11 MW extraction/back pressure steam turbine whose extraction steam is used for domestic hot water and campus heating. This $70M project was funded partially by a $10M grant from the US Department of Energy. Actual savings in the first month of operation exceeded $1M, and is able to go toward teaching, research, and other functions on campus.

District Energy St. Paul has doubled the amount of buildings served from 1985, yet is producing less carbon thanks to the incorporation of biomass, CHP, and solar. The heating system serves more than 32 million square feet of building space and operates at twice the efficiency of the former steam district heating system while using the same amount of fuel. District Energy has also fully integrated its own large-scale solar thermal installation into the district heating system, integrated a customer’s solar thermal installation into the heating system loop, enhanced the data collection and metering components of the system, installed fiber optic lines in much of the distribution system and developed a Delta T program for customers to manage efficiency.

Photo credit: Castroy Adams



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