ALBANY, NY — The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) announced that it is providing $491,000 to the Fonda-Fultonville Central School District to demonstrate the efficiency of a combined heat and power (CHP) system.

The system is based on five natural gas-fired engine generators, waste heat recovery boilers, a 600-ton absorption chiller, and an emergency generator. Waste heat from the engines will be captured by the heat recovery boilers and used for space heating and cooling. When fully operational, the school district anticipates approximately $200,000 in annual energy savings from this project.

“All across the state, NYSERDA has assisted school districts with innovative energy projects,” stated William M. Flynn, president of NYSERDA. “Now, we're demonstrating the benefits and challenges associated with installing an on-site combined heat and power system.”

“This state-of-the-art combined heat and power facility will serve as a model for school districts throughout the state,” said Assemblyman Paul D. Tonko. The entire project, which will cost more than $3 million dollars, is expected to reduce annual electricity use by more than 2 million kilowatt-hours, or enough electricity to power more than 345 homes for a year. The system is expected to be up and running by next summer and will provide both electric power and heat to the K-12 campus at Fonda-Fultonville. The first step in the project will be to finalize system design and project economics.

Funding for this project comes from NYSERDA’s New York Energy Smart program, which is designed to lower electricity costs by encouraging energy efficiency as the state’s electric utilities move to competition. The programs are available to all electric distribution customers — residential, commercial, institutional, and industrial — of Central Hudson, Con Edison, NYSEG, Niagara Mohawk, Orange and Rockland, and Rochester Gas and Electric.

The intent of the CHP initiative is to support demonstration of emerging distributed technologies or, in some cases, conventional technologies installed in unique applications. The program is providing funding for on-site CHP systems that are both energy efficient and environmentally clean. An additional goal of the program is to develop a database of operational reliability and availability as well as to evaluate the economic implications.

Publication date: 08/26/2002