Capitol Power Plant - 7.5 MW CHP System - Case Study
LOCATION: Washington, D.C.
MARKET SECTOR: District Energy & Federal Facility
FACILITY SIZE: 7.5 megawatts (MW) Combustion Turbine
FACILITY PEAK LOAD: 7.5 MW
EQUIPMENT: Combustion Turbine
FUEL: Natural Gas (w/ Fuel Oil Backup)
USE OF THERMAL ENERGY: Power (backpressure steam turbine), Heating, Domestic Hot Water and Reheat
CHP TOTAL EFFICIENCY: 75%
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS: Reduce greenhouse gases and air pollutants
TOTAL PROJECT COST: $57 million
YEARLY ENERGY SAVINGS: $3.5 million
PAYBACK: 20 years
CHP IN OPERATION SINCE: 2018
Located in southeast D.C., the Architect of the Capitol, Capitol Power Plant (CPP) was built in 1910 under the terms of an act of Congress passed on April 28, 1904. Originally constructed to supply steam for heating and electricity to the U.S. Capitol, the CPP added a refrigeration plant to provide chilled water for air conditioning in the 1930s and stopped producing electricity altogether in 1951. The addition of the Rayburn House Office Building, the House and Senate subway systems, the U.S. Capitol's East Front extension, and several other new projects in the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, necessitated several major upgrades to the plant’s equipment and infrastructure, including the addition of the West Refrigeration Plant and the administration building.
Today, the CPP produces steam and chilled water to heat and cool the 17 million square feet of building space of the 23 facilities in the Capitol complex using nine electric-driven chillers, seven steam boilers and one new combined heat and power (CHP) system capable of burning natural gas with fuel oil as back-up.