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New Energy System Improves Efficiency

June 2014

UM UCMC Installs First High-Tech System of Its Kind in Maryland

Some of the elements of UM UCMC’s innovative energy efficiency system (from left): condenser water pumps, waste heat boiler and 2MW gas fire generator.

Some of the elements of UM UCMC’s innovative energy efficiency system (from left): condenser water pumps, waste heat boiler and 2MW gas fire generator.

University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Medical Center (UM UCMC) is the first hospital in the state of Maryland to employ a combined heat and power (CHP) System on its Bel Air, Md., campus. This new energy system will significantly improve the electrical efficiency of the hospital. According to a report from the American Counsel of Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), the combined thermal and electric efficiency of CHP systems usually exceeds 70 percent, whereas the separate generation of electricity in the U.S. centralized grid system usually averages less than 40 percent. The improved energy efficiency of CHP systems stems from their design to reuse exhaust heat to simultaneously generate electrical and thermal energy. By using this system to produce energy on the campus of UM UCMC, it’s the equivalent of taking over 2,200 cars off the road!

The CHP system will serve as the primary power source for the hospital’s electrical load, working in parallel with the local electrical utility. The CHP at UM UCMC will greatly increase the hospital’s ability to provide essential services during an emergency, including providing significant backup power for non-critical care loads during prolonged grid outages. During a prolonged grid outage, the CHP and the existing hospital emergency generator can maintain more than 65 percent of the UM UCMC health care loads.

The hospital is working with Clark’s Energy and Structured Finance (ESF), a group that structures and develops customized on-site power solutions that use clean and renewable energy for clients. ESF retains ownership of these new systems, invests in them and arranges the debt financing for them, while utilizing Clark’s project teams to install them. ESF also oversees the operations and maintenance of the equipment during their ownership. Through this arrangement, ESF is able to bring tax and other incentives into the project capital structure that would otherwise not be available to non-profit or tax-inefficient organizations. UM UCMC obtained this system with no upfront capital expenditures as the first recipient of the EmPower Maryland CHP incentive program, through which it received $1.5 million. It is expected to save millions of dollars in energy costs over the life of the system. The system will go live in June 2014. I95

University of Maryland
Upper Chesapeake Health