EPA launches partnership to promote cogeneration

The US Environmental Protection Agency has launched the Combined Heat and Power Partnership to promote cogeneration as an alternative to conventional electricity generation.

In his energy policy strategy this spring, President George W. Bush directed EPA to promote cogeneration. EPA’s partnership will be with 17 large companies, city and state governments, and nonprofit groups.

EPA said, “Combined heat and power is a highly efficient form of electric generation, which recycles and utilizes heat that is normally lost under traditional power combustion methods. CHP captures this leftover heat, providing a source of residential and industrial heating and air conditioning in the local area around a power plant.”

EPA Administrator Christie Whitman said, “Combined heat and power is not only better than conventional electricity generation at reducing air pollution and fuel consumption, it’s more reliable and costs less.”

Partners in the program agreed to work with EPA to develop and promote projects. EPA will publicize their efforts and support accelerated development of projects.

The agency said its 17 industry partners have existing cogeneration projects totaling more than 5,800 Mw, an volume capable of serving almost 6 million households (about the size of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area).

EPA said the projects reduce the main global warming gas, carbon dioxide, by more than 8 million tons/year from levels that would have been emitted from traditional generation, and save energy equivalent to 19 million bbl/year of oil.

The agency said it would soon publish a Federal Register notice to clarify Clean Air Act requirements for constructing combined heat and power facilities, speed permitting, and ensure that environmental benefits are fully realized.

It also plans to evaluate cogeneration applications under its Brownfields program, which helps communities reduce the potential health risks and restore the economic viability of abandoned, idled, or under-used industrial and commercial properties.

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