The Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW) was joined by Mayor Michael A. Nutter and a diverse array of energy experts today to unveil a 200 KW natural gas-fired microturbine at PGW’s corporate headquarters at West Montgomery Avenue.
The advanced Combined Heat and Power (CHP) microturbine system, the largest installed in the city to date, utilizes natural gas to generate approximately 40 percent of the building’s electricity on-site. Waste heat from the Microturbine will be used to operate a 40-ton absorption chiller to cool the facility in the summer and supplement the heat in the winter.
“PGW is committed to an energy efficient future in Philadelphia ,” said Craig White, PGW President and CEO. “Producing electricity onsite will save PGW and our customers money, offset the equivalent amount from Philadelphia ‘s electric grid and reduce harmful emissions in our region.”
Microturbines are designed to be used for commercial and industrial environments and can run for extended periods of time with minimal maintenance. On an annual basis, the microturbine system will cut the company’s carbon footprint in half, or better, while also further supporting City initiatives like GreenWorks, which is focused on making Philadelphia the ” Greenest City in America .”
“With the help of PGW, Philadelphia again is moving forward toward our goal of becoming the greenest city in America ,” said Mayor Nutter. “Technology like microturbines shrinks our carbon footprint and conserves energy by making sure we waste less. Every time we reduce emissions and increase efficiency, we make our city a better place to live and work.”
PGW secured a $456,000 matching grant from Pennsylvania ‘s Green Energy Works! grant program through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to help fund the project. The company has high hopes that other commercial and industrial customers will recognize the success of this CHP system and will work to upgrade their own energy systems to take advantage of the significant economic, technical and environmental benefits, both short-term and long-term.
“PGW is to be congratulated as a triple winner today. Its Microturbine, which was partly funded with federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars, is lean, it’s green and part of the jobs recovery machine. PGW’s customers are the ultimate beneficiaries of a project that utilized 25 skilled union workers to make better use of natural gas and recycled waste heat,” said Congressman Chaka Fattah, a senior member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee.
In addition, this year PGW launched EnergySense , Pennsylvania ‘s largest natural gas energy conservation plan with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC). EnergySense consists of six programs to help PGW’s residential, commercial and industrial customers conserve energy and save money.
The five-year EnergySense program is expected to generate significant savings for customers and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including 1.24 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of taking 200,000 cars off of Philadelphia ‘s streets. EnergySense will also expand support for PGW’s low income customers by substantially increasing our low income customer weatherization program.