The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recognized Eastman Chemical of Kingsport, Tennessee on September 30 with the ENERGY STAR Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award for their highly efficient CHP systems—energy production systems that decrease energy costs and reduce carbon pollution which causes climate change. Eastman Chemical’s award-winning system demonstrates that CHP offers a promising strategy to help meet the goals of the President’s Climate Action Plan for a cleaner power sector and also boost the efficiency and competitiveness of the U.S industrial sector.
“CHP is part of a diverse clean energy mix,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “The companies recognized today are leading by example and using this technology to help manage their carbon emissions and benefit from the cost savings and energy efficiency CHP provides.”
CHP, also known as cogeneration, simultaneously produces electricity and useful steam or hot water from a single heat source, using traditional or renewable fuels. By recovering and using heat typically wasted by the conventional production of electricity, CHP gives U.S. manufacturers a competitive edge by minimizing production costs while also reducing carbon pollution.
With an operating efficiency of more than 78 percent, Eastman Chemical’s predominantly coal-fired system requires approximately 14 percent less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production. The system also avoids emissions of air pollutants, including an estimated 358,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to the emissions from the generation of electricity used by more than 44,000 homes. Moreover, by generating electricity on site, the system reduces demands on existing transmission and distribution infrastructure.
CHP is ideally suited for many industrial facilities as it provides reliable and cost-effective electricity and heat for a variety of manufacturing processes, including the production of specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals, where energy costs can be a significant portion of operating costs.
Established in 2001, EPA’s voluntary CHP Partnership program seeks to reduce the environmental impact of power generation by promoting the cost-effective use of CHP. The partnership works closely with energy users, the CHP industry, state and local governments, and other clean energy stakeholders to facilitate the development of new CHP projects and to promote their environmental and economic benefits.
Check the Kentucky CHP partnership for information about how the Commonwealth could benefit from CHP technologies.