Argonne National Lab breaks ground on cogen plant

Construction of a new combined heat and power plant is underway at the Argonne National Laboratory near Lemont, Illinois, US.

Expected to be operational in June 2016, the 6.3 MW CHP plant will provide electricity and heat for the laboratory’s campus providing 20% of Argonne‘s electricity needs and 80% of its steam heat throughout the year. It will replace the 50-year old central steam plant, which has four natural gas boilers and one natural gas and coal-fired boiler.

The new gas-fired plant will provide $3 million in energy savings in its first year and more than $52.3 million within the first 15 years, its backers say. Funded by an Energy Savings Performance Contract which uses third-party financing, energy services company NORESCO will provide $22.8 million for the installation and $18.7 million for operations, maintenance and repair. The US Department of Energy will repay NORESCO approximately $3.5 million annually over the 15-year contract term using funds from the power plant’s energy savings.

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