WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is recognizing three facilities with the 2015 Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award for superior performance of their CHP systems. High-efficiency CHP technology has been proven to reduce emissions of CO2 and other air pollutants. CHP captures the heat produced when electricity is generated and utilizes that heat, which would otherwise be wasted, to efficiently provide space heating, cooling, hot water, and steam for commercial, institutional, and industrial use.

“Today’s award winners are advancing the president’s commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s electric power supply system,” said Janet McCabe, assistant administrator, EPA. “These winners have found CHP to be a powerful way to save money and better protect our health and climate.”

The CHP Awards were presented to Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine; Pepco Energy Systems, Atlantic City, New Jersey; and Thermal Energy Corp. (TECO), Houston.

Bowdoin College installed its CHP system to achieve the goal of eliminating CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. The system provides space heating and hot water heating for 56 buildings totaling 1.4 million square feet. Bowdoin College saves $138,000 annually with its CHP system.

Pepco Energy Systems’ Midtown Thermal Control Center uses the heat from electricity generation to provide space heating and cooling to buildings through an energy system that serves Atlantic City’s tourist district. The system also supplies efficiently produced electricity to the grid with fewer emissions of CO2 and other air pollutants than conventional grid-supplied electricity.

CHP is instrumental to TECO’s sustainability strategy, which seeks to reduce emissions and ensure continuous heating and cooling to the Texas Medical Center’s 19.3 million square feet in an extrememly large medical complex. TECO believes the best sustainability efforts reduce emissions by maximizing the efficiency of converting fuel to useful energy. TECO reports the system is saving the corporation between $6 million and $12 million annually.

These CHP systems achieved operating efficiencies of 68-86 percent, much higher than the efficiency of separate production of electricity and thermal energy (typically less than 50 percent). Based on this comparison, the CHP systems avoid carbon pollution equal to that from the generation of electricity used by more than 6,700 homes.

Publication date: 8/10/2015 

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