The University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center’s (BWMC) recently installed natural gas cogeneration power plant has led to significant savings.
The center says its new power plant will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save the hospital about $750,000 in annual energy costs.
The cogeneration power plant — one of the first of its kind in the county — cost about $8 million and took roughly 14 months to install, hospital officials said.
The energy will power the hospital's lights and machines in the operating rooms, and the waste heat will heat BWMC year-round.
With the cogeneration plant running alongside the diesel-fueled generators, the hospital will be able to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels.
Officials said the plant can be used as a backup generator with the medical center's other emergency generators, specifically during times of natural disasters.
In addition to the $750,000 savings every year, the hospital also received a $1.75 million rebate from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., as well as $465,000 from the Maryland Energy Administration.
The plant produces about 2,600 pounds of steam and 2 megawatts an hour, said Earl Burke, manager of facilities engineering at BWMC. The power plant is projected to save 10,000 tonnes of carbon a year, which Burke said is equivalent to taking 1,800 cars off the road every year.