Amherst Goes Greener

October 6, 2009

Already renowned for its state-of-the-art cogeneration plant that recycles hot exhaust to generate steam, Amherst College’s electrical use has become even greener lately, thanks to a new agreement that’s bringing power to the campus from Canada.

Amherst College Cogeneration Plant

Project Description Amherst College's cogeneration system will consist of a 1250-kW gas turbine generator that burns natural gas or diesel fuel. The turbine, similar in design to a small aircraft engine, will turn an electrical generator connected to the campus electrical system and send its hot exhaust to a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG).

Cogeneration Plant

Cogeneration Defined Cogeneration is the simultaneous production of electricity and heat, both of which are used for beneficial purposes. A cogeneration plant is a single source for electricity and thermal energy, located close to the point of use.

The Steam/Cogeneration Plant

In 2007, Amherst College decided to fill an empty boiler bay in the campus steam plant with a cogeneration system. Fed by a 1250-kW jet engine, the cogeneration system significantly reduces the carbon footprint of the college while greatly increasing the efficiency of the system's energy conservation. Campus Utilities Engineer and Capital Project Manager Aaron Hayden explains the cogeneration process and offers a peek into the roaring heart of the college's conservation efforts.

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Amherst students have countless opportunities to enrich their educations through co-curricular and extracurricular activities. A student might go to hear a guest speaker in anthropology, take a karate class, sing in an a cappella concert and then help paint a house with Pioneer Valley Habitat for Humanity—all in a single week!

Solar Saturn Turbines

Submitted by R. Morgan Holland

Energy Diagrams

Submitted by R. Morgan Holland

Conventional Generation

Submitted by R. Morgan Holland