Feb. 8, 2011

Combined heat and power project receives EPA award

Cornell has received a 2011 ENERGY STAR CHP (combined heat and power) Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for the campus's highly efficient CHP system, which has been operating since December 2009.

"Through the recovery of otherwise-wasted heat to produce steam for space heating and other campus uses, Cornell has demonstrated exceptional leadership in energy use and management," the award states. "With an operating efficiency of nearly 79 percent, the CHP system requires approximately 29 percent less fuel than the separate production of thermal energy and electricity. Based on this comparison, the CHP system prevents an estimated 89,300 tons per year of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, equivalent to the emissions from more than 15,500 passenger vehicles."

By generating electricity onsite for campus use, the citation notes, the system displaces grid-supplied power, increasing the reliability of the campus's energy supply while reducing demands on existing transmission and distribution infrastructure.

The award will be presented Feb. 23 at the IDEA 24th Annual Campus Energy Conference and Annual Distribution Workshop in Miami.

The ENERGY STAR CHP award recognizes highly efficient CHP systems that reduce emissions and use at least 5 percent less fuel than comparable, state-of-the-art, separate heat and power generation. The EPA presented seven such awards in 2010.