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Tour of Duquesne University’s Combined Heat and Power Plant

February 6, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 10:30 am EST

Join Green Building Alliance as we tour Duquesne University’s newly renovated Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant!


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Traditional systems produce electricity and heat separately, pulling electricity from the grid and creating heat with a boiler. CHP (Cogeneration) Plants function by simultaneously producing both electricity and useful thermal energy from a single energy source. These combined systems can be up to 45% more efficient than traditional systems, making them much more attractive from an environmental and energy efficiency standpoint.

With original construction completed in 1997 (and many additions and expansions since then), Duquesne’s plant is the only one of its scale in Western Pennsylvania, providing nearly all the electricity, heating, and cooling for the university’s 50-acre campus. It was the first campus CHP facility in Pennsylvania authorized to create alternative energy credits, as well as the first in the state to earn the EPA Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award. The recent $11.5 million expansion added new, state-of-the-art low-emission boilers, significantly increasing the capacity and efficiency of the plant.

This plant demonstrates a number of key topics surrounding the recent energy conversation:

  • Resiliency: Because it does not rely on the grid, the Duquesne campus is entirely self-sufficient, giving the school more control over their own energy.
  • Efficiency: Cogeneration is a more thermally efficient use of fuel than electricity generation alone, because it puts waste heat to use.
  • Carbon Footprint: On-site cogeneration reduces source energy use intensity (EUI) and is generally less carbon-intensive than other alternatives.

The tour will be led by Mark Johnson. As Director of Duquesne’s Energy  and Utilities, Mark is responsible for leading the University’s efforts to manage clean energy initiatives as well as utility consumption, costs and patterns.



9:00 a.m.-9:15 a.m. – Arrive, grab coffee and breakfast
9:15 a.m.-9:30 a.m. – Introduction to the Combined Heat and Power Plant, learn the basics of energy production
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. – Plant tour


Learning Objectives

1. Understand how most commercial buildings and campuses achieve their power and heating needs, and what is different about a Combined Heat and Power Plant.
2. Gain insight into the benefits of cogeneration, including efficiency and resiliency.
3. Learn how Duquesne University manages both energy demand and production, and learn how on-site cogeneration could be applied to other projects.
4. Learn about Duquesne’s broader sustainability goals, and how this plant fits into the overall vision and values of the university.


This event is pending for 1.5 GBCI CEUs and for 1.5 AIA LU hours.

Partnering with USGBC and AIA, GBA makes it easy for our members to report continuing education credits.  Please provide your GBCI and/or AIA number so we can auto-report your credits (for applicable events).  Non-members can still earn continuing education credits but will need to self-report their GBCI CEUs.



February 6, 2018
9:00 am - 10:30 am
Event Category:


Leslie Montgomery


Duquesne University, Power Center
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
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