Commercial, Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Industrial, Regulation  -  August 21, 2017

Maryland announces $5.5M CHP grant program

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Aug. 18 announced the launch of a $5.5 million grant program for combined heat and power systems, the state's largest to-date. 

In outlining the program, which will be administered by the Maryland Energy Administration, Gov. Hogan highlighted the new CHP system installed at Peninsula Regional Medical Center, which was funded in part by a $494,320 grant from the state. The energy efficiency project will see a payback in just over seven years, considering projected annual electric cost savings of $415,086 and projected annual natural gas costs savings of $324,705, according to a news release from the governor's office. 

The medical center's CHP project also received support from Unison Energy, Delmarva Power, and its parent company, Pepco Holdings, Inc. 

"Stewardship is one of Peninsula Regional's core values. By installing the CHP, we achieve both environmental and economic stewardship that is a benefit to our community," PRMC President and CEO Dr. Peggy Naleppa said. "It also makes PRMC more resilient; in the event of a power grid failure or natural disaster, we have a built-in backup that will allow us to continue to care for our community."

Maryland's fiscal year 2018 CHP program has a total of $5.5 million dollars with a targeted $3M for CHP energy efficiency projects in commercial, industrial and institutional facilities; $1.5M for energy efficient CHP projects that also increase resiliency in critical infrastructure facilities; and $1M initially for projects that leverage biomass or biogas resources as a fuel source. 

"Peninsula Regional Medical Center is the largest and most experienced healthcare provider in this region, and now, PRMC has made a significant investment in the future with this combined heat and power system," said Gov. Hogan said. "Today, we are 'flipping the switch' on a program that reduces operating costs, and guarantees electricity is ready and available when needed, something that is critical for PRMC's 3,300 physicians, staff, and volunteers, and for the nearly 500,000 patients who are served here."

PRMC's new system is composed of natural gas-fired reciprocating internal combustion engines, and recovered waste heat will be used to provide space heating and domestic hot water, according to the governor's office. The CHP system will offset 81% of the annual energy consumption and cut their carbon footprint drastically, with an annual CO2 reduction of more than 50%.

The plant's construction cost about $14 million, including grants from Pepco and MEA. Unison Energy, as PRMC's power supplier, oversaw and bore the cost of the installation. Unison Energy contracted with Whiting-Turner for the construction, as well as Rommel Electric, Joseph M. Zimmer Inc., and Becker Morgan.

Under this system, PRMC will be "off the grid" to some extent, according to the Aug. 18 announcement. The reduced power load required by PRMC means Delmarva Power will have more resources for residents on high-demand days of extreme heat or cold; Peninsula Regional still uses Delmarva Power's services, but to a lesser extent. 

Tags: Maryland
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