WAITSFIELD, Vt. - Northern Power Systems, a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp., has been awarded a $3.1 million contract by Honeywell to provide a turnkey on-site combined heat and power (CHP) system for the United States Postal Service (USPS) Margaret L. Sellers Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) in San Diego. The facility is the main mail handling facility for the San Diego district and supports more than 40 post offices.

Installation of the CHP system at the Margaret L. Sellers P&DC is part of an ongoing effort by the USPS and Honeywell to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs at over 250 USPS facilities in Southern California. The CHP system will be the first cogeneration system installed under the energy savings performance contract between Honeywell and the USPS that covers the Southern California USPS sites. The system will also be the first of its kind at a USPS distribution center, says Northern Power.

The CHP system will provide 1.5 MW of electricity in normal operation, an amount equal to 85 percent of the Sellers facility's forecasted power requirements. Recovered heat from the engine's exhaust system will be used as input thermal energy for a 300-ton absorption chiller, which will, in turn, provide cooled water to the facility's HVAC system. The new chiller will replace the facility's existing natural gas-fired absorption chiller and eliminate the need to purchase over 165,000 therms of natural gas annually, Northern Power says.

Designed, engineered, and built by Northern, the CHP system will allow the M.L. Sellers facility to reduce its annual energy consumption by an estimated 1.7 million kWh per year. By recovering waste heat from the engine's exhaust and using it to power the building's HVAC system, the system's overall fuel efficiency rises to approximately 77 percent, more than double the average efficiency of utility-produced power, according to Northern Power. In addition to the higher efficiency, the CHP system is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40 percent.

Higher fuel efficiencies also qualify the new system for a $1 million incentive rebate from the Self-Generation Incentive Program of the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC).

For more information, visit www.northernpower.com.

Publication date: 03/07/2005