Gita Subramony, ERS, for Zondits
Combined heat and power (CHP), or cogeneration, is experiencing a renaissance in the New York City region. Thanks in part to the efforts of NYSERDA and their innovative CHP incentive program, more facilities are planning CHP projects to help provide energy cost savings and reliable back-up power to thousands of city residents. Projects of note include the Cipriani Club Residences in lower Manhattan, the Avalon West Chelsea, a community microgrid in Red Hook (Brooklyn) to serve public housing, and the Hudson Yards mixed-use housing development. CHP is proving itself as an efficient technology that results in real energy cost savings and also provides necessary resiliency in the face of grid strain and extreme weather events.
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It Can Make it There: Cogeneration Doing the Job in The Big Apple
Energy Manager Today, July 15, 2016
A lot has happened on the cogeneration front in New York City during the past few weeks. From the perspective of proponents, the news is a mix of positive and negative.
This week, The New York City Energy Efficiency Corp. announced a $6.75 million loan for an energy efficiency and cogen project at the Cipriani Club Residences. The building, which is on Wall Street in lower Manhattan, is a National Historic Landmark. The 8.3 million investment is aimed at reducing energy consumption “and related emissions” by 42 percent and cutting energy costs in half. That, the press release says, will save $900,000 annually. The description of cogeneration in the release is good:
The project centers around a 750kW combined heat and power (CHP or cogeneration) system, which will generate electricity onsite and use excess heat from the process for heating and cooling. With onsite generation, CHP offers the building’s residents resiliency in the event of outages, important in a neighborhood that was flooded after Hurricane Sandy. Cost reduction and energy efficiency measures include new lighting, elevator upgrades, natural gas boilers, and reliable, energy-saving variable frequency drives for major equipment.
It seems that the concentration on The Big Apple is no accident: Both the state of New York and the City are pushing the technology. National Real Estate Investor Online offers some numbers, courtesy of New York State Energy Research and Development Authority Senior Program Director Ed Kear:
States like New York offer grants or other incentives for installation. For example, grants from NYSERDA typically cover about 40 percent of the total cost to buy and install CHP systems. The grants are worth $1,800 per kilowatt in New York City and $1,500 per kilowatt in other parts of New York State, up to a maximum grant of $2.5 million. With the incentive, systems tracked by NYSERDA typically pay for themselves in just three to six years, says Kear.
The story says that the state is tracking the use of a 300 KW cogen platform that was installed at the Avalon West Chelsea, a luxury building in Manhattan.