Academica Oy won the Uptime
Institute’s 2010 Green Enterprise IT Award
for another energy-efficient data center
in Helsinki, built in a cavern underneath
the city’s Uspenski Cathedral. That facility
was also developed in conjunction with
Helsingin Energia to cool computers using
district cooling and provide waste heat for
the local district heating network.
WSJ Cites District Heating
A Sept. 12 article in
The Wall Street
(“How to Build a Greener City”)
takes a look at how cities can be part of
the environmental solution instead of part
of the problem. With urban populations
around the world on the rise – expected to
soar to 5 billion in 20 years, from today’s
3 billion – cities will need to consume
fewer resources and get the most out of
the land, water and energy they do use.
The article highlights a number of green
initiatives – including district heating – that
are already helping cities achieve this goal.
The article includes an explanation
of how district heating systems work and
recognition that they “are considerably
more efficient – capturing up to 90% of
the available energy – than in-building
boilers.” Other green solutions showcased
in the article include micro wind turbines,
pumped hydro storage/micro hydropower,
walking/biking, personal rapid transit,
pneumatic garbage collection, waste to
resources, and green roofs. The article is
available at http://tinyurl.com/44dw5b6.
natural gas with a fuel oil backup. EIU’s
campus energy needs can be met by run-
ning any two of the four boilers.
A unique feature of the facility is that
one of the biomass boilers, a high-pressure
unit, feeds into a backpressure steam tur-
bine to generate electricity as a byproduct.
The electricity produced is in the cost neigh-
borhood of two cents per kilowatt-hour as
opposed to the local utility rate of 11 cents
due to being pure cogeneration. The plant
is also designed for maximum fuel flexibility.
With a traditional combustion boiler, the
fuel sources must generally be the same in
moisture, size and density. With gasifiers,
boilers are able to accept a lot more varia-
tion in their fuel sources
The Renewable Energy Center was
developed under an $80 million perfor-
mance contract awarded to Honeywell
International in 2008. The project has been
registered under the U.S. Green Building
Council’s LEED® (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) new construction
program. It is the first solid fuel power plant
to be registered with USGBC and is on track
to receive certification at the Gold level.
Courtesy Jay Grabiec, Eastern Illinois University
A semi-trailer carrying wood chips is emptied at
the Renewable Energy Center on the campus of
Eastern Illinois University.
DOE’s Koonin Tours NRG Energy Center Minneapolis
Eastern Illinois University
Launches Biogas Plant
On Aug. 10, The U.S. Department of Energy’s Undersecretary for Science Steven Koonin took a tour of
NRG Energy Center Minneapolis. In town for a speaking engagement, Koonin had expressed interest
in touring the plant to gain further knowledge of district heating systems. Pictured with Koonin and
assistant Cynthia Lin (both at center) are plant personnel (from left) Greg Olson (partially hidden), Ed
Mattison, NRG Thermal LLC President Michael Carroll, Virgil Hathaway, Jan Albers, Alex Meyer, Mark
Jeffson, Mike Muonio (partially hidden), Ralph Davini, Carl Jauch, Mark Spurbeck and Bill Lund.
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