Seven years ago homes, businesses and factories in New York, on Long Island and across large parts of New Jersey were without power, hot water and heat. A handful of sites, including New York University (NYU), the Long Island Home (Amityville, NY), and the Breevort (New York City) continued to provide electricity to employees, students, patients, customers and residents. They had invested in combined heat and power (CHP) systems capable of delivering high efficiency, environmentally superior and resilient power and heat at their facilities. The U.S. Department of Energy publication “Combined Heat and Power: Enabling Resilient Energy Infrastructure for Critical Facilities” March 2013, includes 14 case studies of CHP facilities that ran through Superstorm Sandy and other storms and blackout events in other regions of the country.
The U.S. Department of Energy provides the following definition at their Combined Heat & Power eCatalog site:
Combined heat and power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, produces both electricity and thermal energy on-site, replacing or supplementing electricity provided from a local utility and fuel burned in an on-site boiler or furnace. CHP systems can be designed to operate independently from the electric grid providing reliable power and thermal energy to keep critical facilities running during grid outages.
Most of the existing CHP systems utilize natural gas. CHP systems that operate for a large portion of the year and perform at a high total system efficiency yield social benefits in the form of reduced air emissions, lower greenhouse gases, greater levels of energy efficiency when compared with separately provided power, heating and cooling systems.
Well designed and operated CHP systems represent a smart way to use natural gas in an efficient, environmentally responsible manner to meet the energy needs of businesses, factories, healthcare and university complexes and multifamily and mixed use campuses. As states, metro areas and cities transition to a carbon free energy future, CHP technologies should play an important role in a clean energy roadmap.
In recognition of social benefits, renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies are often rewarded with state incentives, favorable utility regulatory treatment and federal and state tax preferences. CHP systems provide many of the same benefits as renewable and efficiency technologies that qualify for preferential state and federal treatment. Yet the same societal benefits provided by CHP are either not rewarded at all, or not in a manner that’s nearly commensurate with qualifying renewable and efficiency technologies.
Smartly designed CHP systems remain an invaluable component in building an effective bridge from our existing energy structure to the energy ecosystem of the next generation. Smartly designed policies are best when fashioned to be technology neutral and awarded on the basis of demonstrated, measured outcomes that society desires.
Author: Tom Bourgeois, Deputy Director of the Pace Energy & Climate Center and Director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s New York / New Jersey Combined Heat and Power, Technical Assistance Partnership. He is primary or contributing author of numerous reports, briefs, presentations on the topic of combined heat and power. Mr. Bourgeois was a co-author of Combined Heat and Power: Enabling Resilient Energy Infrastructure for Critical Facilities. Prepared for Oak Ridge National Labs, ORNL/TM-2013/100. March 2013.
THE ELISABETH HAUB SCHOOL OF LAW CELEBRATES 30 YEARS OF CLEAN ENERGY WORK
AT THE PACE ENERGY AND CLIMATE CENTER
WHITE PLAINS, NY – Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law today celebrated 30 years of work at the Pace Energy and Climate Center (PECC). For three decades, PECC has been at the leading edge of creating and implementing solutions to our energy and climate challenges on the local, state, regional, national, and international levels.
“Pace’s Energy and Climate Center is an important part of the Pace Law campus and our community,” said Dean Horace Anderson. “It is a force for legal and policy change, and has trained many Pace Law students to become the next generation of smart energy professionals, working at home and abroad to create more resilient, sustainable communities.”
“This little Center has had an outsized positive effect on clean energy policy over the past thirty years,” said Karl R. Rábago, current Center director. “We fight well above our weight because of the brilliant and inspired leadership of our founder, Dick Ottinger; because the high caliber of our staff, interns, and colleagues; and because of the steadfast support of our community, funders, and clients. I can’t wait to see what we do next!”
PECC was founded by Pace Law Dean Emeritus Richard Ottinger. In recognition of his decades of service to the Center, numerous elected officials issued proclamations and letters of support commending him for his service, including Congressman Eliot L. Engel, New York State Senator Andrea Stewart Cousins, New York State Assembly Members Amy R. Paulin, Steven Otis, and Thomas J. Abinanti, Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators Benjamin Boykin, Westchester County Board of Legislator Catherine Parker, and Mayor of the City of White Plains Thomas Roach.
PECC is one of eight centers and institutes that are a part of the Pace Law campus. PECC is the leading Center working at the intersection of energy and the environment, engaging government decision makers and key stakeholders with robust research and analysis in law and policy. Over time, the Center has grown from its initial focus on energy regulatory law and policies to tackle transportation and fuels, as well as climate change mitigation and resilience. PECC directly engaged in complex regulatory proceedings in New York and several other states, and advocates successfully for policies to improve energy efficiency, advance renewable energy and distributed generation, account for environmental impacts in energy decisions, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
PECC is a critical part of Pace Law’s environmental law program, which is consistently ranked among the top in the country by “US News &World Report.” The Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University launched its environmental law program in 1978; it has long been ranked among the world’s leading university programs. Pace’s doctoral graduates teach environmental law at universities around the world. Pace’s J.D. alumni are prominent in environmental law firms, agencies and non-profit organizations across the U.S. and abroad.
About Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University
Pace University’s Elisabeth Haub School of Law (Pace Law) offers Juris Doctorate, Master of Laws, and Doctor of Juridical Science in Environmental Law degrees, as well as a series of joint degree programs. The school, housed on the University’s campus in White Plains, New York, opened its doors in 1976 and has over 8,500 alumni around the world. The school maintains a unique philosophy and approach to legal education that strikes an important balance between practice and theory. For more information visit http://law.pace.edu.