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CFC Free Plant

A plan to keep the plant chlorofluorocarbon free included purchasing items that do not contain or use CFCs and are therefore “ozone safe”. Another part of this plan is that a chiller was switched to a non-ozone depleting refrigerant and 12,000 pounds of CFCs (R-12) were retired.

Chilled Water Optimization

Focuses on optimum utilization of equipment that uses chilled water, and controlling chill water supply and return temperatures.


The University Central Utilities plant was upgraded during summer 2006 to introduce a cleaner, more efficient way to meet energy needs. The cogeneration process allows for the simultaneous production of heat and electricity meeting more than half of the annual electric requirement of the River Campus and Medical Center. The change results in a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of more than 30,000 tons annually. In addition to the environmental gains, cogeneration is cost effective. It saves the University about $3 million a year in electricity costs.

Related Articles
Cogeneration FAQ's
Cogeneration Plant to Serve RC, MC

Green Power

Central Utilities is powered by clean renewable energy sourced from sun, wind, water, and waste.

Hot Water

Provides an energy savings by converting from steam heat to hot water heat, which utilizes the hot water by-product of Co-Gen.

Low Knox Burners

Prior to 1998, heating and cooling the University required the emission of up to 335 tons per year of NOx (Oxides of Nitrogen). Then the University switched from coal to natural gas and the Central Plant team installed burners that would meet anticipated future emissions standards. This lowered the University's annual NOx emissions to 74 tons per year.

Low Sulfur Fuel

The Central Utilities plant uses a low sulfur fuel oil (0.05%) which helps alleviate unpleasant odors as well as significantly cut sulfur dioxide emissions. Since converting to natural gas and low sulfur oil, annual emissions of sulfur dioxide has dropped from 1,600 tons per year to 1.25 tons per year for 2005.

Real Time Metering

Records the energy usage for electricity, chilled water, city water, steam and hot water as it is being used.