WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has presented Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) awards to two organizations for using highly efficient CHP systems to reduce energy use and lower greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. CHP (also called cogeneration) is 60 to 80 percent more efficient than producing heat and power separately.

Consolidated Edison CHP System of New York received an award for using a CHP system that produces up to 360 megawatts (MW) of electricity, enough to power most of Manhattan. It is the largest district steam system in the world and is also a key contributor to New York City’s electricity supply. The CHP system operates at 75 percent of its optimal thermal and energy levels, better than the industry average, reducing greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions from approximately 150,000 cars.

Duquesne University Energy Center in Pittsburgh received an award for its usage of a 5 MW CHP system. This is Pennsylvania’s first approved distributed generation system (onsite distribution only) for creating alternative energy credits. With an operating efficiency of nearly 65 percent, it effectively reduces greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to the annual emissions from approximately 1,700 autos.

CHP is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single fuel source, such as natural gas, biomass, biogas, coal, waste heat, or oil. CHP is not a single technology, but an integrated energy system that can be modified depending upon the needs of the energy user.

EPA has a CHP partnership that seeks to reduce the environmental impact of power generation. The agency works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other interested parties to support the development of new projects that have significant energy, environmental, and economic benefits.

Since 1999, EPA has given the Energy Star CHP Award to recognize organizations and institutions that install exceptionally efficient CHP systems.

For more information about the CHP partnership and the awards, visit www.epa.gov/chp/.

Publication date: 07/20/2009