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Bucknell University - 6 MW CHP Application - Case Study

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Quick Facts

Location: Lewisburg, PA
Campus Size:
450 acre campus with > 150
buildings, totaling 2.4 MM sq. ft.
Student population over 3,300
Campus Loads:
42,000 MWh per yr
7.5 MW peak demand
70,000 lbs per hr steam
Prime Movers:
Solar Taurus 60 combustion turbine
70k lb/hr HRSG with redundancy
Murray KG4 steam turbine
Annual Energy Savings: $1.25 MM between 2003 and 2006
Installed System Cost: $12 MM
Began Operation: June 1998

Reasons for Installing CHP

In 1996, Bucknell University began the process of replacing their aging coal-fired campus power plant with a cogeneration system. The replacement needed to serve the campus steam load growth for the next 20 years, satisfy the current electrical load with some reserve, and have emergency power capability, all in a costeffective manner. Improved emissions and energy efficiency were also desirable.

Project Overview

Bucknell was founded in 1846 as the University of Lewisburg. It was renamed in 1886 by its benefactor, William Bucknell, a Philadelphian who supported the University after the Civil War. Bucknell University is located on some 450 acres on the banks of the West Branch of the Susquehanna River.

Bucknell’s campus is known for its beautiful location in central Pennsylvania. In contrast, the university was powered by an aging coal-fired plant. Originally constructed in 1949, the plant was belching out tons of harmful emissions every year. For this and other reasons, the university elected to replace the coal plant with a combined heating and power (CHP) system. The project was self-financed by Bucknell for $12 million. The system upgrade included the purchase of a combustion turbine supplying a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), a steam turbine generator, two supplementary boilers, and sophisticated control circuitry.

Upon completion of the project in 1998, the emissions levels were reduced by 99% for soot and sulfur dioxide, and over 75% for NOx. The CHP system also saves the university hundreds of thousands of dollars annually in utility payments.

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