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Shaw Industries - 14-MW Natural Gas CHP System - Case Study

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Quick Facts

LOCATION: Columbia, South Carolina
MARKET SECTOR: Carpet fiber production
GENERATING CAPACITY: 14.1 MW
EQUIPMENT: Solar Turbines Titan 130
FUEL: Natural Gas
USE OF THERMAL ENERGY: Process steam, hot water, cooling
USE OF ELECTRIC ENERGY: On-site
ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS: Reduction of Greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 26,000 metric tons annually
CHP IN OPERATION SINCE: 2018

Project Overview

In May 2018, Shaw Industries Group, Inc. brought online a 14.1 MW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system at its Columbia, South Carolina fiber production facility (Plant 8S). Shaw made the decision to invest in a combined heat and power system as part of its carbon emissions reduction strategy as well as to increase efficiency and to control energy costs. The CHP system has the capacity to meet all thermal load and most of the electric demand for the plant, which produces synthetic carpet fibers from raw materials, including recycled soda bottles. The system was designed with the capability to “island” which will enable Plant 8S to remain operational if there is an interruption to the power supplied by the local utility. Shaw utilized resources through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Southeast Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership (Southeast CHP TAP) to evaluate the feasibility of a CHP application at Plant 8S.

Reasons for Installing CHP

Shaw Industries has been significantly investing in their operations to minimize its environmental footprint. Since 2011, Shaw has invested almost $50 million to help reduce its energy and greenhouse gas impacts. As a result, Shaw’s greenhouse gas emissions have decreased approximately 32 percent compared to 2010, with a target of reducing both the amount of energy the company uses and the amount of GHG emissions it produces (per pound of finished product) by 40 percent by 2030.

According to Troy Virgo, Director of Sustainability and Product Stewardship at Shaw Industries, “Climate change is a complex, global issue. While no one company or individual can tackle this challenge alone, as a globally oriented company we have a responsibility to positively contribute to the solution. The Combined Heat and Power system [at Plant 8S] exemplifies one of many ways we are doing our part to have a positive impact on the world we all share.” The result: Less fuel is used to provide the same amount of steam and electricity to the plant, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The Plant 8S CHP system will reduce Shaw’s GHG emissions by 26,000 metrics tons per year, which is equivalent to removing 5,500 passenger vehicles from the road each year. The plant will realize reduced energy costs as well. The CHP system at Plant 8S supports Shaw’s carbon strategy of reducing energy demand and improving energy efficiency, investing in renewable energy generation and measuring and reporting progress with a goal toward continuous improvement.

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