The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) will invest $20 million in combined heat and power generation projects to improve energy efficiency at 19 hospitals, paper mills, supermarkets, apartment complexes and other facilities in New York City and upstate.
Funding for the projects will leverage an additional $68 million in private investment toward the cost of buying and installing the technology, which generates on-site electricity while also making use of the heat created during generation.
Combined heat and power (CHP) is considered a clean-energy technology, and is also known as “cogeneration.” When power is generated by burning a fuel, typically natural gas, the heat created usually goes up the chimney or smokestack, wasted. CHP instead reclaims the heat, using it to provide heat or hot water to buildings, for manufacturing or other uses. Since power from CHP is generated on-site, there is no transmission loss as there is when electricity is moved over power lines.
The NYSERDA incentive pays between 30 to 50 percent of the cost of a CHP project, up to $2 million. The exact percentage is based on a variety of considerations. For instance, extra funds are available for such factors as the site’s availability as a “place of refuge” during a disaster.
“Combined heat and power is a technology that has huge potential to reduce the strain on the state’s electric grid in New York, and NYSERDA is proud to support it,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA. “CHP will help reduce air pollution in the state’s most densely-populated areas, and will also help conserve our limited fossil fuel resources and increase the nation’s energy self-sufficiency.”
Most of the projects approved in this program burn natural gas, but do so much more efficiently than conventional electric-generation techniques. Several upstate projects under this program will be fueled by sustainably-harvested biomass consisting of wood chips.
The selected projects represent more than 22,000 kilowatts (kW) of new generation capacity. All projects will be capable of operating during a power outage.
The projects vary in scope. The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in Manhattan will install a $4.6 million system to provide both power and heat to the famous decommissioned aircraft carrier that is now one of the city’s leading tourist attractions. On a smaller scale, a variety of condominium projects in the city are converting to CHP to heat and electrify the buildings.
The largest CHP projects include a hotel on NYC’s Madison Avenue and two North Country paper mills that will use wood chips to generate electricity.
Over the past 10 years, NYSERDA has invested more than $100 million in CHP technology. This has helped to cut energy costs and reduce the energy use of industrial, commercial, institutional and multifamily residences.
(All projects are currently just natural-gas powered unless noted.)
Other NYC-area locations:
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