The State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York, US, is to install a $3 million biomass CHP system as part of its goal to be carbon neutral by 2015.

SUNY estimates that the system will save the university US$350,000-400,000 a year in heating costs. Currently, it purchases its steam from the neighbouring Syracuse University, and also purchases its electricity.

The CHP system will provide approximately 70% of campus heating needs and 20% of the campus electrical needs, while reducing the campus-wide carbon footprint by 22%.

The $2.4 million system is expected to pay for itself in five or six years, and the college will make use of more than $1.4 million in grants and incentives to help cover the cost.

The CHP project is made up of two complimentary systems. The first is a biomass-based system that will produce high-pressure steam, which will be used to generate electricity by moving through a steam turbine before it is used to heat campus buildings.

Complementing the biomass system will be three natural gas-fired micro turbines that will provide a balance of electricity and steam for heating.

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