Combined Heat and Power

Thu, Aug 13, 2009

Energy Types

Purchasing high efficiency equipment produces big savings on your bottom line. To help you pay for it, New Jersey just added two new programs to its Clean Energy product portfolio, the Clean Energy Solutions CHP Grant Program and the Clean Energy Solutions Capital Investment (CESCI) Loan/Grant. These programs help underwrite new efficient heating systems that produce onsite energy. These proven technologies also produce savings by insulating your business from energy market price increases.

Clean Energy Solutions CHP Grant Program projects are eligible for incentives up to $1,000,000 as part of the “Pay for Performance” program, the NJ Clean Energy Program for commercial and industrial facilities. Existing commercial, industrial and institutional buildings with an average annual peak demand over 200 kW are eligible to participate including hospitals, hotels and casinos, large office buildings, multi-family buildings, supermarkets, manufacturing facilities, schools, shopping malls and restaurants.

What is CHP?

Combined heat and power (CHP) is an efficient, clean approach to generating power and thermal energy. This is power produced onsite, rather than purchased from a power plant. In conventional fossil-fueled power plants, two thirds of the energy is lost and vented as heat. CHP uses waste heat recovery technology to capture a significant proportion of this wasted heat. Thus, CHP systems typically achieve total system efficiencies of 60 to 80 percent. The EPA has provided a comparison of conventional power generation systems versus CHP schematic.

Because CHP is more efficient, less fuel is required to produce a given energy output than with separate heat and power. CHP insulates your business from power outages and thus from losses incurred by them. Higher efficiency translates into:

  • Lower operating costs
  • Reduced emissions of all pollutants
  • Increased reliability and power quality
  • Reduced grid congestion and avoided distribution losses

Is CHP a Good Choice for Your Business?

CHP systems can be configured to use low-cost feedstocks or wood pulp, further reducing the cost of fuel. The EPA has provided several tools to help you assess whether or not your business is a good candidate for CHP as well as a round up of ways to finance a system. Systems are available in a wide array of technologies. However, according to Peter Schroeck, North American Business Manager for Cummins Energy Solutions, consumers are best advised to consider the proven technologies of reciprocating engines and gas and stream turbines, over fuel cells and micro turbines whose overall efficiencies are low. For an informal walk through and preliminary evaluation of your current system and alternatives contact Ron Maslow, PE in the NJ Clean Energy Program at rmaslow@eamenergy.com.

The Clean Energy Solutions Capital Investment (CESCI) Loan/Grant supports commercial, institutional or industrial entities advancing energy-efficient end-use projects, CHP production facilities, or construction of state-of-the-art, efficient electric generation facilities, including Class I and Class II renewable energy. CESCI provides zero-interest loans and grants up to $5 million with up to a 10-year loan term to fund the purchase of fixed assets, including real estate and equipment.

Keep in mind that there are many ways to increase the efficiency of your existing systems. Most upgrades have ROIs less than three years. Rebates, incentives and financing are available for a wide array of energy system upgrades including lighting, HVAC, boilers, chillers, variable frequency drives and controls.� If your business has not been audited or upgraded in the last five years, you will save, on average, 30-60% on your energy bills by implementing an energy reduction plan.

More information is available at New Jersey Clean Energy’s “Pay for Performance” pages. If you own a smaller business with a weekly output greater than 75kW, NJ Clean Energy will assist you with an onsite walkthrough, a prescriptive lighting path and application assistance. Contact Billy Steets, Project Consultant, EAM Associates, Inc. , bsteets@eamenergy.com.

Melanie Dunn is a sales representative for First Energy Group, LLC a “Preferred Partner” in the NJ Clean Energy “Pay for Performance”program. She is studying for her “Green Associate” certification with the U.S. Green Building Council. She can be reached at m.dunn@FirstEnergyGroup.com.

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