YPSILANTI -- Eastern Michigan University used a massive 500-ton crane to lift a new energy saving 55-ton turbine into its Heating Plant on June 8. With the new project, the University will become nearly fully self-sufficient in production of electricity and heat for campus operations; significantly reducing its carbon footprint and annual energy costs.
The Co-Gen (co-generation) project, at a cost of $19.6 million, replaces a 29-year-old co-generation unit that ceased operations in April 2016.
- Co-generation is a combined heat and power system that uses natural gas to simultaneously produce electricity and steam heat for the campus.
- The new turbine will generate approximately 98 percent of the heat and 93 percent of the electricity to campus. The previous unit supplied about 50 percent of electricity and heat.
- The new co-generator will result in an annual reduction of 32,600 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), equivalent to:
- 78.2 million miles driven by an average passenger vehicle; or,
- Preservation of 260 acres of forests.
- Project will reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by 34 tons annually, decreasing potential effects of acid rain.
- The project will achieve annual net energy savings to the University of more than $2.8 million.
- Estimated completion date: Spring 2018