University of Minnesota Reduces Emissions

Excerpt from a recent article in Energy Manager Today:

A deteriorated, decommissioned 104-year-old heating plant on the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities campus has been resurrected as a cutting-edge "co-generation" - or combined heat and power - utility that is 83% energy-efficient, which is more than double the efficiency of a coal-fired power plant.

The University of Minnesota has reinvested in the former Old Main Heating Plant, replacing old boilers with a new 22.8 megawatt combustion turbine and heat recovery system that will generate electric power and steam for the Minneapolis campus.

Fueled by natural gas, the Main Energy Plant is a key investment in the University's climate action plan to reduce campus emissions in half by the year 2020. The plant went commercial Nov. 17, 2017. While operating, it reduces the University's net carbon footprint by an estimated 10 to 13% and will provide the University with a more reliable source of energy, unaffected by supply disruptions to the local area grid.

"The Main Energy Plant allows the Twin Cities to operate as an energy island so that critical University services at hospitals, clinics and research facilities can be maintained if there are external outage events," said Jerome Malmquist, Director of Energy Management at the University of Minnesota. The Main Energy Plant will save the University an estimated net $2 million annually in utility operating costs.

The University recently received an additional $2 million one-time rebate from the Department of Commerce's Conservation Improvement Program (CIP) for updating the plant to avoid fuel consumption that would be required with the addition of package boilers to meet the campus steam demand.

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Source: Energy Manager Today