On-Site Energy At Higher Ed Campus
American DG Energy Inc., an on-site utility, is supplying clean energy to Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. Stevens is receiving a portion of its energy from an on-site 75 kW combined heat and power (CHP) system and a 200 ton natural gas engine driven chiller, which are owned and operated by American DG Energy. The value of the energy of these two projects over the term of the agreements is estimated at $8.3 million.
American DG Energy produces clean energy in the form of electricity, space heating, and cooling at Stevens’ Schaefer Center. Stevens pays only for the energy it uses and avoids all capital installation and operating costs. The electricity and space heating is produced with small-scale CHP equipment; cooling is provided by a natural gas engine driven chiller that was recently installed. Although this energy equipment is located in the building, it is installed, owned, and operated by American DG Energy. Since the company will handle all service, maintenance, and repair, Stevens will not need any manpower to support the equipment.
As a top-notch engineering and science school, Stevens Institute of Technology is committed to providing educational programs addressing global issues, such as sustainability. As such, the Institute has installed alternative energy systems on campus to both reduce its carbon footprint and benefit the students learning about these clean energy technologies. The clean energy systems operating on campus function as a “live laboratory” which is beneficial for students studying green engineering. Financing clean energy systems, however, can be difficult.
“Capital is always tight in an institutional setting,” stated Mark Byrd, HVAC manager at Stevens Institute of Technology. “When we searched for companies who would finance, install, operate, and execute a power purchasing agreement for CHP and chillers, we found only one. Only American DG Energy was able to meet all our needs.”
The CHP system, which has been running since early February 2009, has already had a positive economic impact, both in energy savings and in bringing in new students. “We’re already saving money,” said Norman Forster, director of physical plant at Stevens Institute of Technology. “But even more beneficial than the energy savings is the impact on the institution’s marketability to prospective students.” Forster continued, “Having sustainable energy systems on campus for students to learn from, gives Stevens a competitive advantage when trying to attract new students.”
Stevens has signed an agreement to purchase additional cooling and combined heat and power exclusively from American DG Energy. Under the terms of the agreement, Stevens has granted the utility access to its entire campus to evaluate and determine which remaining buildings may be a good fit for additional energy efficient CHP and chiller systems.