This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 29, 2003

New Combined Heat and Power Projects Mark a Growing Trend

Two new combined heat and power (CHP) projects, in New York and New Jersey, were announced in January. In New York, Calpine Corporation and the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) announced a new contract last week to expand a CHP facility at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Calpine will upgrade its existing 45-megawatt facility to 80 megawatts over the next year and a half. On a smaller scale, South Jersey Industries, Inc. signed an agreement in mid-January to build a 6-megawatt CHP plant, capable of producing 10,000 pounds of steam per hour, at a Johnson Matthey plant in West Deptford, New Jersey. See the press releases from LIPA and South Jersey Industries.

CHP, also called cogeneration, is a highly efficient means of producing power, since the heat energy from the power cycle is used either to heat buildings or for process heat in industrial plants. However, as noted in a recent report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), significant market and regulatory barriers at the state and federal level are hampering development of CHP plants. See the ACEEE press release or go directly to the full report (PDF 175 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

Despite such barriers, a number of CHP plants have started up in recent months, including Calpine's 550-megawatt facility in Corpus Christi, Texas. The plant, which began operating in October 2002, can supply more than 1.4 million pounds of steam per hour to nearby industrial plants. Calpine owns six CHP plants in Texas. See the Calpine press release.

CHP has a lot of potential for federal sites as well. A report prepared for DOE's Federal Energy Management Program in September estimated that 9 percent of federal sites could use CHP to generate as much as 1600 megawatts of power, providing 13 percent of the electricity used by the federal government. See the report (PDF 544 KB).