The US Environmental Protection Agency recognized two federal facilities with its Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award for their highly-efficient CHP systems: the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany, Ga., and the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC.
CHP, also known as cogeneration, simultaneously produces electricity and useful steam or hot water from a single heat source, using fuels such as natural gas or renewable landfill gas. By recovering and using heat typically wasted by the conventional production of electricity, CHP helps federal facilities achieve goals to reduce carbon pollution and energy use.
The National Archives and Records Administration CHP system achieved an operating efficiency of 72 percent – much higher than the efficiency of conventional production of electricity and thermal energy, which can be less than 50 percent.
The Marine Corps Albany CHP system uses renewable landfill gas to produce energy that supports essential base operations, saving about $1.3 million annually in energy costs.
A Department of Energy assessment of the potential for CHP at federal facilities indicated that CHP could be used at hundreds of facilities, increase power reliability, reduce transmission congestion, save taxpayers more than $150 million annually, and prevent carbon pollution equal to that from the generation of electricity used by more than 370,000 homes.
In September, the US Department of Energy, the EPA and the Department of Housing and Urban Development jointly released a guide to provide information on what factors must be considered when configuring a CHP system to operate independently of the grid.