Public-Private Partnership Aims to Double Northeast Clean-Energy Production by 2010

Public-Private Partnership Aims to Double Northeast Clean-Energy Production by 2010

An alliance of environmental, industry, academic, and government organizations has formed a coalition -- the Northeast CHP Initiative -- to spearhead the installation of clean, reliable, energy-efficient "combined heat and power" systems throughout the northeast U.S.

CHP systems, also known as clean cogeneration, produce electricity and usable heat simultaneously at the point of use. Conventional electric power generation does not capture the heat generated in power production.

The mission of the initiative is to facilitate a doubling of the amount of CHP in the Northeast by 2010. The initiative will focus on CHP already in use in the Northeast and provide coordinated technology transfer to share information about success stories in order to facilitate cost-effective replication throughout the region and beyond.

To achieve its mission, the Northeast CHP Initiative will work to remove marketplace and government barriers to CHP development. The initiative's strategy includes streamlining the environmental permitting process, developing interconnect and free access guidelines for states, educating pertinent policy makers and industry groups, and developing a pro-CHP policy platform for legislative changes in northeastern states.

CHP systems are up to 80% efficient, compared with the national average efficiency of 33% for traditional electric generating plants. Other benefits of CHP include:
  • re-cycling as much of the waste heat as possible for various facility needs such as heating water, producing steam, as well as providing process heating or cooling

  • facilitating economic development through the creation of manufacturing and trade jobs

  • avoiding electric transmission and distribution losses

  • reducing the need to expand the electricity transmission grid

  • reducing emissions of criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases

  • increasing reliability and power quality -- diversity of power generating sources enhances energy security

  • strengthening economic competitiveness of regional businesses through reduced energy costs achieved by using highly efficient CHP systems
The founding organizations of the Northeast CHP Initiative include the Gas Technology Institute, Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management (NESCAUM), TurboSteam Corporation, the Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at the University of Massachusetts, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, RealEnergy Corporation, the Pace University Energy Project, Southern Connecticut Gas Company, and the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

Other participants include: Cambridge Energy Research Associates, Cummins Northeast Energy Systems, Encorp, Epsilon Associates, Ingersoll-Rand Energy Systems, International District Energy Association, KeySpan Energy Delivery, Kinsley Power Systems, Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources, M.J. Bradley and Associates, New Hampshire Office of State Planning, NORESCO, Northeast Gas Association, Northern Power Systems, Northstar Industries, NSTAR Gas Company, Power Equipment Associates, Select Energy, Southworth-Milton Caterpillar PowerSystems, Strategic Energy Technologies, Sustainable Energy Solutions, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. EPA Combined Heat and Power Partnership, Vanderweil Engineers, and Yankee Gas Services Company.