DU Becomes State’s First Academic Institution to Earn EPA Energy Star Award
The cogeneration plant on the Duquesne University’s Uptown Pittsburgh campus has received the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
This cogeneration plant is the first and only approved onsite distribution system for creating alternative energy credits in Pennsylvania and has led to an operating efficiency of 65 to 70 percent. This, in effect, reduces greenhouse gas emissions comparable to the yearly emissions from nearly 1,700 cars.
The Energy Star CHP Award recognizes organizations that install exceptionally efficient CHP systems reducing energy use, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. A CHP provides simultaneous production of electricity and heat from a single fuel source, such as natural gas or oil.
“This award recognizes the ongoing efforts of Duquesne to reduce its carbon footprint and lead its students by example as we do the right thing for the environment,” said George Fecik, executive director of Facilities Management at Duquesne. “As the first academic institution in Pennsylvania to earn this award, we are especially honored.”
Duquesne uses a 5 megawatt hour, natural gas turbine to power, cool and heat the bulk of campus. Integrated into the system is a highly efficient cooling process that relies on ice storage, the first of its kind in a Pittsburgh academic institution. Additionally, the University supplements its own power with renewable energy credits, so the campus relies 100 percent on clean energy.
Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic research universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. The University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for its rich academic programs in nine schools of study for nearly 10,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and by the Washington Monthly for service and contributing to students' social mobility. Duquesne is a member of the U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction for its contributions to Pittsburgh and communities around the globe. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Princeton Review's Guide to Green Colleges acknowledge Duquesne's commitment to sustainability.