Cogeneration, often referred to as combined heat and power or CHP, is the simultaneous generation and use of electricity and heat energy.
According to the Texas Combined Heat & Power Initiative, House Bill 2049 clarifies language in the Texas Utility Code to allow cogeneration facilities to sell electricity and heat energy to the same customer within the proximity of the facility thereby maximizing the efficiency and minimizing financial risk. Prior to this change, cogeneration facilities could sell electricity to only one customer.
Texas industries, such as chemical processors and refineries, need heat (typically in the form of steam) for their manufacturing or processing operations. Cogeneration facilities will now be able to more directly serve the heat and power needs of Texas’ leading industries, and the measure is likely to spur economic development in other situations where cogeneration can be effectively implemented.
Natural gas used in CHP produces up to 65 percent fewer emissions than coal per kilowatt hour (kWh), according to the Texas Combined Heat & Power Initiative. CHP does not use water resources like traditional power generation and the energy is produced and consumed where it is needed without the loss of energy that typically occurs during transmission and distribution.
This article was originally published on Electric Light & Power/POWERGRID International. It was republished with permission.