Marriot Fremont Trigen Top View16/05/2016
By Tildy Bayar
Associate Editor – Decentralized Energy

The US Department of Energy has launched a programme designed to accelerate the uptake of combined heat and power (CHP) in the nation.

As part of the national Climate Action Plan, the Better Buildings Initiative aims to make commercial, public, industrial and residential buildings 20% more energy-efficient over the next decade.

Under its rubric, the new Better Buildings Combined Heat and Power for Resiliency Accelerator, announced last week, aims to boost investment in CHP projects across the country. In collaboration with states, communities, utilities and other stakeholders, the project plans to examine how resiliency planners perceive CHP, identify technology or information gaps that could be barriers to adoption, and develop CHP plans for communities.

So far, 21 utilities, states, counties and cities have signed on to participate, including the states of Missouri, Massachusetts, Maryland and Utah; the cities of Boston, New York, Hoboken and Pittsburgh; and utilities Tennessee Valley Authority and the Long Island Power Authority, as well as Pennsylvania’s Public Utilities Commission.

Northeast coast utility National Grid has joined the initiative and says it will ‘work to support and expand the consideration of combined heat and power technologies for improved efficiency and enhanced resiliency’.

‘The impact of Superstorm Sandy demonstrated the urgent need to design and build more resilient energy systems,’ said Ken Daly, president of National Grid New York. ‘Our partnership with the Better Buildings Combined Heat and Power Resiliency Accelerator helps address that need, aligns with National Grid’s initiative to improve the resiliency of our infrastructure, and provides customers across our service area in New York and New England with more choice when it comes to energy management solutions.’

‘Advanced technologies like combined heat and power will enable the achievement of energy policy objectives for the benefit of our communities, and do so in a cost-effective way for customers,’ he added

And Michael Voltz, director of renewables and energy efficiency at member utility PSEG Long Island, said: ‘Combined heat and power, when used in the right application, is an energy-efficient technology that can enhance the resiliency of the electric grid and mitigate the impact of future storms on participating facilities’.