U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official Gary McNeil presented the 2013 Energy Star CHP Award to Jim Riley, together with Les Williams, UES director, and David Payne, UES associate director, at the International District Energy Association Campus Energy Conference in San Diego on February 20, 2013.
EPA awards the ENERGY STAR® CHP Award to leaders who increase the nation's electric generation efficiency through the development of highly efficient combined heat and power (CHP) projects. The EPA has taken special note of Texas A&M University’s energy efficiencies resulting from the installation of a combined heating and power system completed in 2012 that requires one-third less fuel than a typical off-campus power plant with similar output.
“Through the recovery of otherwise-wasted heat to provide space heating, cooling and domestic hot water, Texas A&M has demonstrated exceptional leadership in energy use and management,” said McNeil, who heads the CHP Partnership Program in EPA’s Climate Protection Partnership Division. “Moreover, by generating electricity on site, the CHP system displaces grid-supplied power, increasing the reliability of the energy supply while reducing demands on existing transmission and distribution infrastructure.”
Riley said: “Our Utilities & Energy Services Team worked for several years to complete the necessary evaluations, justification, and obtain approval to proceed with completion of the CHP upgrade. It’s an honor to be selected for this major national award in recognition of our efforts here on the Texas A&M campus, knowing that the students, faculty and staff of Texas A&M are better served.”
Texas A&M's CHP system is designed to operate and remain fully functioning during a power outage, ensuring that critical operations can continue without interruption. The system's ability to operate independently from the grid ensures power reliability for university facilities, including numerous research facilities, dormitories, and a veterinary hospital. CHP has played a key role in reducing the University's energy consumption by more than 40 percent per square foot over the last 10 years, resulting in nearly $150 million in savings.