Cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP) stations can simultaneously generate both electricity and useful heat (through steam or hot water). Cogeneration plants produce both electricity and useful heat from one fuel source, which may be natural gas, wood or coal. Excess process steam from a cogeneration plant can go to lumber mills, for example.
Oregon is a hotbed for development of cogeneration and other biomass technologies that involve turning trees, brush, straw and other organic materials into electricity. Iberdrola Renewables is building a 26.8 MW project in Lakeview Oregon, creating as many as 200 construction jobs during the almost two-year timeframe it will take to complete the plant. The company says it expects to complete the project by the fall of 2012. Collins Pine Company will provide fuel from a combination of logging and sawmill residuals.
Oregon State University’s cogeneration project is a 5.5-megawatt generator fired by natural gas, a heat recovery steam generator, and two auxiliary boilers. It will generate electricity that will meet approximately 50 percent of the electrical load at the university. The new Energy Center at Oregon State University was certified LEED Platinum, making it the first LEED Platinum power plant in the United States.