CHP Overview

Co-generation, also called combined heat and power (CHP), is the use of an engine to simultaneously generate both electricity and heat which can be used for hot water, steam, dehumidification, refrigeration or other industrial processes. First developed by Thomas Edison in the 1880s, it is one of the most common forms of energy recycling in the world.

CHP solutions have been widely implemented in thousands of locations in the United States mostly in site-specific engineered applications. Since the 1970s, CHP has been used to power a large portion of industrial sites and currently provides 9%+ (or 85GW) of power generation capacity in the United States. The Department of Energy (DOE) has an aggressive goal of CHP solutions providing 20% of the US generation capacity by 2030.

CHP has several advantages over other renewable energy sources:

  • Provides up to 100% of the customers’ electric load generating maximum energy savings.
  • CHP is ‘always on’ and not subject to the variability of the weather, light, etc.
  • CHP systems can be designed to have economic back-up solutions and ultimately has the grid as a final backup.
  • CHP does not depend on Federal, State or Utility subsidies to be a viable economic solution.
  • CHP solutions have a long operating history in the U.S. and use time-tested equipment that has undergone multi-generation evolution making CHP less expensive and more reliable than other forms of distributed energy as well as easier to maintain over the life of the system.