UCF Combined Heat & Power Plant gets attention at 2015 Clean Air Awards

January 4, 2015

The University’s 5.5MW Combined Heat & Power Plant (CHP) received a Clean Air Honorable Mention for innovation and tremendous savings on both revenue and pollution avoidance at the 2015 Clean Air Award ceremony, presented by MetroPlan Orlando.

Constructed in 2011, commissioned and put into service in January 2013, the CHP has produced significant savings and yielded positive impacts to UCF’s climate action and green house gas (GHG) reduction goals. Our main campus has surpassed even the maximum goal of a 2% reduction in GHG emissions relative to 2011, boasting instead, a 15% average reduction across the 2011-2014 cycle, largely contributed by the CHP installation.

The total project cost was $12.2M and features an 18-cylinder natural gas reciprocating engine coupled to a 5.5 mega Watt generator. The waste heat from the engine jacket cooling and exhaust gas stream is captured and is then repurposed to fuel a 1000 refrigerated ton multi-stage absorption chiller that produces 40 degree water that is then circulated to our campus buildings.

The CHP during the first operating year produced 38,709,821 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy; 1,752,485 ton-hours of chilled water; and has yielded a YTD 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 during the first operating year of the plant.

The CHP project provides several benefits to the University:

  • $1.8M-$2.2M annually in savings
  • Increased plant efficiency with waste heat recapture
  • Less line loss by producing power on site
  • Provides a hands on research platform to the UCF student body and curriculum

UCF also wants to congratulate Orange County Public Schools, our community partner, for their positive impact on the regions air quality and receiving this years Clean Air Award.