The cogeneration plant on the Duquesne University’s Uptown Pittsburgh campus has received the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This cogeneration plant is the first and only approved onsite distribution system for creating alternative energy credits in Pennsylvania and has led to an operating efficiency of 65 to 70 percent. This, in effect, reduces greenhouse gas emissions comparable to the yearly emissions from nearly 1,700 cars.
The Energy Star CHP Award recognizes organizations that install exceptionally efficient CHP systems reducing energy use, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. A CHP provides simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single fuel source, such as natural gas or oil.
“This award recognizes the ongoing efforts of Duquesne to reduce its carbon footprint and lead its students by example as we do the right thing for the environment,” said George Fecik, executive director of Facilities Management at Duquesne. “As the first academic institution in Pennsylvania to earn this award, we are especially honored.”
Duquesne uses a 5 megawatt hour, natural gas turbine to power, cool and heat the bulk of campus. Integrated into the system is a highly efficient cooling process that relies on ice storage, the first of its kind in a Pittsburgh academic institution. Additionally, the University supplements its own power with renewable energy credits, so the campus relies 100 percent on clean energy.