Duke University in North Carolina is among the many colleges trying to shrink their carbon footprint by reducing carbon emissions.
To that end, Duke Energy is assisting Duke University with a proposal to build a 21 MW combined heat and power (CHP) facility on the campus, which will provide electricity and steam for the university's thermal needs.
Sometimes referred to as cogeneration, CHP systems generate electricity and useful thermal energy in a single system. Heat that is normally wasted in conventional power generation is recovered -- avoiding the losses that would otherwise occur. CHP systems are more efficient than doing the same tasks with separate systems.
The end result is a more efficient energy mix for Duke University and a reduction in the university's carbon footprint. The facility will be owned, built and operated by Duke Energy, and will connect to a substation on campus that serves the university and the nearby community.
The 35-year agreement is subject to approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (NCUC). If approved, the plant would use the waste heat from generating electricity to produce thermal energy and steam needed for the university, making it one of the most efficient generating assets in the Duke Energy generation fleet. The electric power would be put back on the Duke Energy electric grid to serve the university and nearby customers.
"This project will provide a cleaner and more diverse energy mix for the community and provide the value of thermal energy for the university," said David Fountain, Duke Energy North Carolina president. "The innovative approach provides multiple benefits to a large customer like Duke University and is a cost-effective generation asset for Duke Energy and our customers in North Carolina."
In addition to 21 MW of power, the facility would be capable of producing roughly 75,000 pounds per hour of steam, which would be sold to Duke University for heating water among other things. The CHP facility would be connected to an existing Duke Energy substation located on the campus, which serves the university and its medical center as well as other customers.