The EPA has recognized five facilities with the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award for their CHP systems’ operating efficiencies ranging from 69 to 75 percent, much higher than the efficiency of separate production of electricity and thermal energy, which can be less than 50 percent.
The winners are:
- Medical Area Total Energy Plant LP for its 46 MW CHP system that produces electricity, steam and chilled water for the Longwood Medical and Academic Area, home to five hospitals, numerous biomedical and pharmaceutical research centers and Harvard Medical School-affiliated teaching institutions.
- Montefiore Medical Center (pictured) for its 11 MW CHP system that supplies electricity and steam to the center. During Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, the Medical Center continued to operate and accept patients from other hospitals that were forced to close.
- New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center for its 7.5 MW CHP system that produces electricity and steam for the hospital’s operations. The hospital is believed to have been the first in New York City capable of operating independently from the grid in the event of a power outage.
- New York University for its 12.8 MW CHP system that produces steam and electricity for its campus in lower Manhattan. The system provided uninterrupted electricity, heating and cooling to the campus during Hurricane Sandy.
- Texas A&M University for its 45 MW CHP system that produces electricity, space cooling, space heating, and hot water for its campus in College Station, Texas. The CHP system enabled Texas A&M’s facilities to provide emergency housing for people endangered or displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
The medical centers’ and universities’ increase in operating efficiency reduces their energy costs and prevents carbon pollution.
New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center and New York University have each reported annual savings of approximately $5 million while Texas A&M University reported savings of nearly $150 million in the last 10 years, according to the EPA.
By using CHP, the winners are able to operate independently from the grid during power supply disruptions, such as those from weather-related events. CHP’s benefits for universities include uninterrupted electricity, heat, and cooling for dormitories and classrooms, and protection of data centers and research activities that are vulnerable to losses of air conditioning and electricity.
With CHP systems, hospitals ensure that patient care can continue uninterrupted, and that vital assets such as medical research facilities, diagnostic laboratories, and pharmaceutical supplies are safeguarded.
Established in 2001, the EPA’s voluntary CHP Partnership program seeks to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting CHP. The partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new CHP projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits.
Global commercial CHP capacity will more than double by 2022, growing from nearly 39 GW in 2012 to 79.5 GW, which represents $11.2 billion in annual revenue, according to a Pike Research report.