HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) will hold an en banc hearing on the use of combined heat and power (CHP) on May 5, 2014 in Philadelphia. The purpose of the hearing is to explore current issues and discuss regulatory policies impacting greater adoption of CHP in the Commonwealth.
The hearing, at Drexel University’s AJ Picture Gallery from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., will feature discussions by CHP experts, project developers, technology vendors and representatives from Philadelphia Gas Works and PECO Energy Company. PUC Chairman Robert F. Powelson will attend, as well as Commissioners Gladys M. Brown, Pamela A. Witmer and James H. Cawley.
“CHP, despite having been used in the U.S. in some form for more than 100 years, is still underutilized,” said Chairman Powelson. “With an abundance of natural gas flowing from the Marcellus Shale, examining the role Pennsylvania CHP systems play in powering our businesses makes real economic sense.”
CHP is an efficient approach to generating electric power and thermal energy from a single fuel source, providing cost-effective energy services to commercial businesses like hotels, universities and hospitals. In addition to benefits like improving manufacturing competitiveness and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, CHP benefits businesses by reducing energy costs and enhancing energy reliability for the user.
Currently, CHP systems generate just 7.2 percent of Pennsylvania’s total electricity, amounting to 2,638 megawatts (MW). The technical potential for additional CHP systems in the Commonwealth, primarily in existing industrial and commercial facilities, is close to 11,000 MW.
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission balances the needs of consumers and utilities; ensures safe and reliable utility service at reasonable rates; protects the public interest; educates consumers to make independent and informed utility choices; furthers economic development; and fosters new technologies and competitive markets in an environmentally sound manner.
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