Energy Management Receives CenterPoint Innovation Award

Recipients of Innovation Award

On June 3, CenterPoint Energy presented the University of Minnesota’s Energy Management department with the Most Innovative Project of the Year award for the Combined Heat and Power Plant (CHP), which is currently under construction on the East Bank campus. Through the CHP, the University will generate electricity for use in University buildings and then use the heat from electricity generation to create steam for heating campus facilities. Typically these processes, electricity and steam generation, are done in separate facilities many miles apart, which results in energy waste. The CHP will be approximately twice as efficient as a typical system. As a result, it will dramatically reduce emissions while providing cost effective and reliable utility services.  When the Plant goes online in 2016, the facility will reduce the University’s carbon emissions by 81,000 metric tons, which is about 12% of the campus footprint.

In giving the award, CenterPoint Energy also recognized the University for participating in and championing CenterPoint Energy conservation improvement programs. The University has an ambitious goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 50% by the end of 2020 and is using the following strategies to reach this objective:

  • Campus-wide building recommissioning
  • Construction of sustainable buildings
  • Laboratory energy efficiency
  • Window replacements
  • Renewable energy pilot programs

Director of Energy Management Jerome Malmquist accepted the award on behalf of the University and the Energy Management department.