Cogeneration (CHP)

Cogeneration, or CHP (combined heat and power), and trigeneration tap the full potential of on-site power generation to manage overall energy consumption for commercial buildings, manufacturers, healthcare facilities, college campuses, military bases and other government and industrial enterprises. By capturing the heat that is normally lost during power generation, a cogeneration facility can supply hot water or heat as well as reliable, off-grid power. A trigeneration facility can supply cooling in addition to heat and off-grid power.

Major utility companies have used cogeneration to monetize the process of energy production for decades by selling steam and hot water to nearby customers. At the government or enterprise level, cogeneration offers a way to reduce energy costs on multiple fronts. Ameresco’s comprehensive energy services specialists can analyze electrical, heating and cooling needs, then develop energy conversion systems from 1 to 50 megawatts, or higher, that improve overall energy efficiency, provide secure and reliable power for mission-critical systems and pay for themselves in annual utility bill savings.

Cogeneration: Power, Heat and Revenue

Industrial and government facilities in need of on-site power generation that looks beyond immediate energy concerns can find multipurpose solutions and a stream of revenue through on-site cogeneration.

In many cases, a larger power generation system will add little development cost and pay for itself with excess electricity that is sold back into the power grid. Excess power can be used to further lower utility costs or as a reliable stream of revenue when sold through a power purchase agreement.

Ameresco is a recognized leader in adapting renewable energy sources for cogeneration. These off-grid solutions meet on-site power needs with clean, energy-efficient plants that can be built or upgraded to become independent power generation facilities with revenue potential for their owners.

Case Studies

Daytime view of the Savannah River Site Biomass Cogeneration Facility with the biomass intake in the foreground

Department of Energy Savannah River Site Biomass Cogeneration Facility

The largest ESPC in U.S. history converted a coal plant to biomass cogeneration, creating $34.3 million in annual energy savings and generating 77 million kWh of green power.

Daytime aerial view of solar parking canopies at Arizona State University

Arizona State University

Ameresco designed and installed an 8 mW combined heat and power facility, part of ASU’s drive to become climate neutral, excluding transportation,  by 2025.

A biogas cogeneration generator in a Philadelphia Water Department building

Philadelphia Water Department

With a renewable biogas-powered cogeneration facility designed and built by Ameresco, 5.6 mW of power are generated and energy costs are reduced by $12 million over 16 years.

Additional Media

Watch the Canada Games Aquatic Centre video

Watch the NAVFAQ video