Natural Gas-Fired Co-Generation Plant Powers Up NYU

01/26/2011 |

Natural Gas-Fired Co-Generation Plant Powers Up NYU

New York University has announced the completion of a natural gas-fired Co-Generation (CoGen) plant, which will decrease greenhouse gas emissions by 23% and air pollutants by 68% when compared to the previous oil-fired CoGen.

The new CoGen plant approaches 90% energy efficiency while producing 13.4 megawatts of electricity, twice the output of the previous system.

This $125 million CoGen upgrade took 28 months to complete, and provides electricity to 22 NYU buildings compared to the prior plant’s 7 buildings.  The CoGen is expected to provide energy savings of $5-8 million annually.

“NYU’s new cogeneration plant will save money, reduce carbon emissions and improve the reliability our electrical grid,” says David Bragdon, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Long-term Planning and Sustainability.  “The project is a model of achieving the triple bottom-line that will move the City closer to achieving its PlaNYC goal of reducing emissions 30% by 2030.”

Breaking down the key stats of the natural gas-fired Co-Generation plant:

  • Two 5.5 megawatts (MW) gas turbines and a 2.4MW steam turbine;
  • Approaching 90% overall efficiency;
  • Providing electricity to 22 buildings up from 7 with the old fuel oil CoGen;
  • Providing heat to 37 buildings;
  • 23% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions;
  • 68% reduction of EPA Criteria Air Pollutants (e.g. NOx, SOx, PM-10);
  • One of the largest private co-gen plants in NYC;
  • Produces twice the electrical power of the old facility – at 13.4 megawatts – and avoids the combustion of 500,000 gallons of fuel oil annually;
  • All-digitally controlled for better monitoring and maximum efficiency.
  • Installation of a 13,000 sq. ft. public plaza on Mercer Street using native plant species, and providing 190 linear feet of seating space.

Implementation of CoGen plants is an emerging trend in seeking sustainable energy solutions.

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