New York University (NYU) has announced the completion of its new, natural gas-fired cogeneration plant, which will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 23% compared to its 30 year-old, oil-fired CHP predecessor.
Located beneath a renovated public plaza at 251 Mercer Street, the new CHP plant approaches 90% energy efficiency and produces 13.4 MW of electricity – twice the output of the previous system.
The US$125 million CHP upgrade and public plaza installation project took 28 months to complete.
One of the largest private CHP plants in New York City, the unit at NYU provides electricity to 22 buildings, up from seven buildings with the old plant.
The new system will also produce heat and hot and chilled water to 37 buildings on the Washington Square Campus, and is expected to save the university $5-8 million in energy related costs per year.
CHP is the cornerstone of NYU’s 2010 Climate Action Plan (CAP), a comprehensive approach to reducing the university’s carbon footprint and enhancing its overall sustainability.
NYU’s CAP was spurred on in part by the signing of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC Climate Challenge, which calls on all city colleges and universities to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2017.
Prior to the CHP upgrade, NYU had made significant progress in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, cutting them by 20-25% in just four years, from a peak of around 180,000 tonnes carbon equivalent (MTCE) in 2006, to around 125,000 MTCE in 2010.
With the addition of the cogeneration plant coming on line, NYU’s total emissions are expected to fall by a further 20%, to around 98,000 MTCE.
This not only fulfills the Mayor’s PlaNYC Climate Challenge, but will surpass it by an additional 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, says the university.
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