MEA Celebrates Earth Day with Doctor’s Community Hospital
Doctor’s Community Hospital, in Lanham, MD, received a $494,320 dollar Combined Heat and Power (CHP) grant from Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) in January of 2018. CHP systems combines technologies to maximize energy efficiency and reduce waste. In traditional fossil fuel power plants, two-thirds of the energy used to generate electricity is wasted in the form of heat discharged to the atmosphere as well as through electricity transmission, achieving a combined efficiency of only 33%. CHP systems can operate at levels as high as 80% efficiency.
The Doctor’s Community Hospital’s CHP system consists of two 600 kilowatt (KW) natural gas fired reciprocating internal combustion engines with exhaust heat recovery. Their CHP is operating at approximately 8,250 hours per year at 1050 KW or higher and has achieved a minimum system efficiency of at least 60%. The waste heat is be used for space heating and domestic hot water.
CHP projects have become popular with hospitals because it allows them to be “off the grid” to some in the event of weather emergencies or power grid failures. Moreover, hospitals with CHP systems depend less on local utilities for power which amplifies the power available to other residents, especially in peak demand times like summer.
Jerry Dyer, Director, Plant Operations Manager, reported the grant process with the MEA went smoothly. Unison not only installed the CHP system, they managed the permitting, provided efficient and timely service for the project. Anticipated annual cost savings, according to Unison, will be $300,000 dollars. Year one savings since December 2017 commissioning was $235,000 dollars. Year two savings is expected to be $275,000 dollars. This next billing year’s annual savings goal should reach the $300,000 dollar mark. Additionally, Pepco contributed to the project with $1.1 million dollars.
In addition to the noted savings, the hospital no longer needs to utilize their boilers during the Summer months since CHP systems utilize waste heat, recycling the heat to maintain the water heating demand for the entire facility.
“A consistent energy supply is critically important in a hospital setting. Even during a hurricane or blizzard, we need to keep the lights on and the medical devices running. Doctors Community Hospital has always had backup generators in place in case of electrical grid failure, but this new system provides an extra layer of power security. It feels good to know that, no matter what, our energy supply will be as unstoppable as our staff”.
CHP in Maryland is an incredibly robust and effective program that delivers tremendous value; and serves as a brilliant example of successful public and private partnerships. To date, 44 businesses, nonprofits and local governments in Maryland have received CHP grants. Our local CHP projects represent over 63 megawatts of new, resilient energy generation within the state.
To learn more about other MEA CHP projects, click here.