UMass Memorial Medical Center CHP Plant
With a statewide trend towards energy efficiency, in 2015 UMass Memorial Medical Center embarked on their Energy Strategic Master Plan and studied the benefits of CHP to make the hospital more energy independent and resilient in the face of power outages.
Faced with some of the highest energy rates nationwide, healthcare facilities around the state of Massachusetts are looking at opportunities to increase cost savings. Through a competitive public procurement process, UMass recognized the Cogen team’s operational experience and success and selected the team to move forward with this CHP Design-Build project.
Armed with the bridging documents, Cogen launched an independent assessment and recommended that the planned CHP Plant generate electricity, hot water, and steam (rather than just electricity and hot water) to provide better value to the hospital. This, in conjunction with the new 360 ton hot water absorption chiller, will enable the hospital to better meet their energy needs regardless of electric utility availability.
The existing boiler plant’s location and configuration added more challenges. With the plant located in a hollow surrounded by the Hospital and a residential neighborhood, noise was a major concern. Employing noise modeling, the design team configured the plant so that the plant noise would be minimized.
To house all of the CHP equipment in the existing plant, would make the plant congested. Our designers used 3-D scanning technology to define the space and optimally configure the new equipment. The prime mover was located outside the plant and the auxiliary heat recovery equipment was located inside the boiler plant to make operations easier for the boiler plant staff.
Nearing completion, the 2.65 MW natural gas reciprocating engine and HRSG will produce over 20,000,000 kWh, 30,000 MMBtu of hot water, and 22,000 million lbs. of steam, and 1.3M Ton-hours of cooling annually. At these levels, the CHP plant will provide most of the electrical and thermal needs of the hospital through the course of the year and provide an added level of resiliency.
The plant will operate in parallel with the electric utility under normal conditions and go into “island” mode upon the loss of utility power. The plant is scheduled to start commercial operations in April 2018. Cogen will assist in operating the plant for one year to transition boiler plant staff to the new technology.
The project’s $9 Million price tag was offset by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources and the hospital will also benefit from the revenue stream created by the State’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS) Alternative Energy Credits.