Special to the Journal
ATLANTA – Today, the Marine Corps Logistics Base (MCLB) Albany in Albany, Georgia is one of two federal facilities being recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with the ENERGY STAR Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award for their highly-efficient CHP systems, which increase the reliability of their electricity supply while reducing carbon pollution that causes climate change. The MCLB Albany CHP system uses renewable landfill gas to produce energy that supports essential base operations, saving approximately $1.3 million annually in energy costs and reducing carbon pollution equal to that from the generation of electricity used by more than 1,200 homes.
The Awards, which also demonstrate how federal agencies are reducing carbon pollution in support of the President’s Climate Action Plan were announced today at the GreenGov Dialogue on Energy Management sponsored by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, in Washington, DC.
“Combined heat and power is a highly efficient way to produce energy,” said Janet McCabe, Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “These federal facilities are leading by example and using this technology to help reduce their carbon emissions and make federal dollars go further.”
CHP, also known as cogeneration, simultaneously produces electricity and useful steam or hot water from a single heat source, using fuels such as natural gas or renewable landfill gas. By recovering and utilizing heat typically wasted by the conventional production of electricity, CHP helps federal facilities achieve goals to reduce carbon pollution and energy use.
The other winner is the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington D.C. The National Archives CHP system achieves an operating efficiency of 72 percent—much higher than the efficiency of conventional production of electricity and thermal energy, which can be less than 50 percent.
CHP is ideally suited for many federal facilities as it provides reliable electricity, heat, and cooling for offices and other facilities, as well as protecting resources (like data servers) that are vulnerable to power outages. A Department of Energy assessment of the potential for CHP at federal facilities indicated that CHP could be used at hundreds of facilities, increase power reliability, reduce transmission congestion, save taxpayers more than $150 million annually, and prevent carbon pollution equal to that from the generation of electricity used by more than 370,000 homes.
Established in 2001, EPA’s CHP Partnership program seeks to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting the cost-effective use of CHP. The partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new CHP projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits.