Better Buildings through CHP

Gita Subramony, ERS, for Zondits

The national market for combined heat and power (CHP) projects is growing. Traditionally, the technology was most frequently implemented in large and energy-intensive industrial facilities. However, certain regions of the country are realizing that smaller CHP systems can benefit a wide range of facilities and provide not only energy cost savings but also reliable back-up power.

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New York State is one of the regions taking a closer look at CHP for a wide variety of buildings. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has developed an innovative program to animate the CHP market for a variety of sectors, including multifamily buildings, hospitals, nursing homes, hotels, and industrial facilities. NYSERDA has designed a catalog-based incentive program to help customers overcome barriers to CHP adoption. In addition, NYSERDA’s CHP Program leverages technical resources through the use of ERS, an independent energy consulting firm, which provides outreach and technical assistance to customers seeking to implement CHP.

These initiatives have driven the market forward by alleviating some key barriers to CHP projects. The program is designed to accelerate project timelines and take as much guesswork and uncertainty out of the process as possible. Key program facets include: pre-approved and vetted systems; required maintenance packages; and set incentives for each pre-approved system. Additionally, outreach and technical assistance offered by ERS are helping to educate the market on how CHP can be useful to a range of buildings. The technical assistance component also provides a preliminary analysis to guide customers on the process of figuring out how CHP can be a benefit as well as program guidance throughout the planning stages.

NYSERDA is now partnering with the Department of Energy’s Combined Heat and Power for Resiliency Accelerator to help animate the CHP market around the USA.

New York Joins Better Buildings Accelerator To Foster Combined Heat And Power

Breaking Energy, May 23, 2016

NYSERDA Partnership with New Accelerator under DOE’s Better Building Initiative Supports Resiliency Goals under REV

Combined Heat and Power is crucial to achieving energy efficiency goals and enhance system resiliency under New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) strategy. According to NYSERDA, CHP alone can shave 15-30 percent off a building’s existing energy consumption. Currently, 570 buildings in New York use CHP systems that provide 5.7 GW of power, and represent approximately 13 percent of the 4,400 buildings nationwide that use the technology.

In joining DOE’s Combined Heat and Power for Resiliency Accelerator, NYSERDA said it would coordinate with Long Island Power Authority, PSEG-Long Island, and National Grid’s Keyspan Energy Delivery division to examine the role of CHP in providing uninterrupted energy to Long Island facilities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Irene, and Tropical Storm Lee. The results of this study would identify best practices that can be applied across the state.

The DOE’s Combined Heat and Power for Resiliency Accelerator aims to encourage states, communities and utilities to consider CHP for their critical infrastructure needs. The initiative aims to assess CHP and identify technology gaps among resiliency planners to stimulate the adoption of CHP as a reliable, high efficiency, low-emitting electricity and thermal energy source for critical infrastructure.

Also known as cogeneration, CHP is the concurrent production of electricity and thermal energy from a single energy source located at or near the point of consumption. CHP technologies can use a variety of fuels to generate electricity, allowing the recovery of heat that would otherwise be lost in the generation process to provide heating and/or cooling. Cost-effective and with few geographic limitations, CHP generators can operate at 65-75 percent efficiency, a significant improvement over the national average of approximately 50 percent when the services are provided separately (Figure 1).


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