UES owns and operates the first 18 cylinder lean-burn natural gas reciprocating engine in North America, providing 5.5 MW of on-site electrical generation and up to 1000 refrigerated tons of chilled water, offsetting a portion of the campus 25 MW peak load. On-site power generation currently serves 27% of the main campus electricity with the remaining demand supplied by our utility partner Duke Energy. Duke Energy’s distribution power grid is supplied to the main campus by two 69,000 volt substations. The ability to self-generate electrical power provides both significant cost and environmental benefits to the university.
During the first operating year (FY13-14') of the combined heat and power (CHP) plant, the university was able to generate 38,709,821 kWh of electric and 1,752,485 ton-hours of chilled water, yielding a fiscal year savings of $1,855,693 ($1,643,043 for electric and $212,650 for chilled water), while avoiding 5,908 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 186 metric tons of sulfur oxide (SOx) being emitted into the atmosphere.