Join Green Building Alliance as we tour Duquesne University’s newly renovated Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant!
Traditional systems produce electricity and heat separately, pulling electricity from the grid and creating heat with a boiler. CHP (Cogeneration) Plants function by simultaneously producing both electricity and useful thermal energy from a single energy source. These combined systems can be up to 45% more efficient than traditional systems, making them much more attractive from an environmental and energy efficiency standpoint.
With original construction completed in 1997 (and many additions and expansions since then), Duquesne’s plant is the only one of its scale in Western Pennsylvania, providing nearly all the electricity, heating, and cooling for the university’s 50-acre campus. It was the first campus CHP facility in Pennsylvania authorized to create alternative energy credits, as well as the first in the state to earn the EPA Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award. The recent $11.5 million expansion added new, state-of-the-art low-emission boilers, significantly increasing the capacity and efficiency of the plant.
This plant demonstrates a number of key topics surrounding the recent energy conversation:
- Resiliency: Because it does not rely on the grid, the Duquesne campus is entirely self-sufficient, giving the school more control over their own energy.
- Efficiency: Cogeneration is a more thermally efficient use of fuel than electricity generation alone, because it puts waste heat to use.
- Carbon Footprint: On-site cogeneration reduces source energy use intensity (EUI) and is generally less carbon-intensive than other alternatives.
The tour will be led by Mark Johnson. As Director of Duquesne’s Energy and Utilities, Mark is responsible for leading the University’s efforts to manage clean energy initiatives as well as utility consumption, costs and patterns.