Distributed energy are “small, modular, decentralized, grid-connected or off-grid energy systems located in or near the place where energy is used”(U.S. DOE). For example, cogeneration, also known as Combined Heat and Power (CHP), is a type of distributed energy resource system and generates on-site energy that is practical and compact. Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Combined Heat and Power Installation Database found that California and New York are the nation’s leaders in the total CHP capacity.
With a total of 122 MW generating from 2MW or less units, New York generates 57% of its distributed energy from CHP. In California, the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) focuses on providing financial incentives to those who produce on-site distributed energy. (Fig on left: Incentive Levels for Eligible Technology from 2014 SGIP Handbook) For example, the Ritz Carlton in San Francisco received $150,000 from the program along with $500,000 grant from the U.S. DOE for the installation of CHP systems. In New York as well, the Combined Heat and Power Acceleration Program provides financial incentives to building owners who have taken advantage of the cogenerated on-site energy production. To see more facilities that have installed CHP systems, ICF International provides a list to see where combined heat and power units within the US are located.
Clearly, there is a lot of room for adoption in distributed energy resources and many benefits that come along with owners' green choices.
Could your facility incorporate a cogen system and benefit from California's Self Generation Incentive Program or New York’s CHP Acceleration Program?
What are the disadvantages to this green choice?
Is sustainable technology the future?