NYSERDA-funded Project Results in Technology to Help Hospitals and Other Institutions
November 4, 2009
New York-Presbyterian Hospital Wins ConEdison Approval for On-site Electric Generation Interconnect
Albany, NY — With support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), New York-Presbyterian Hospital today unveiled a technology that will significantly lower the hospital’s energy costs, reduce its carbon footprint and provide more secure backup for the hospital’s critical operations. In addition, NYSERDA’s partnership with New York-Presbyterian to successfully demonstrate this cutting-edge circuit-breaking system allows thousands of other businesses and institutions in the New York City metropolitan area to consider replicating this technology to reduce their energy costs while offering sufficient protection for New York City’s electric system. NYSERDA has additional funding available to help incentivize projects seeking to follow in these footsteps.
The circuit-breaking system will allow schools, hospitals, businesses, and others to improve their energy operations by supplementing the power they receive from ConEdison with their own electric generating systems without creating potential risks of damage to the power grid. The system demonstrated by New York-Presbyterian represents the first time this kind of co-generation has been approved for use in the overstressed New York City neighborhoods of the Con Edison system. NYSERDA provided the hospital with two grants totaling $1.1 million to help the hospital install, test and demonstrate the project for ConEdison’s approval.
Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA said, “NYSERDA is proud to support a development that will allow thousands of New York City utility customers to reduce their energy use and save money by generating their own electricity. This technology puts more power into the customers’ hands, and will allow them to better control their own operations and better ensure they have the power they need when they need it. We’re pleased that our work will help New York-Presbyterian improve the security of patients and employees and reduce its utility costs, and proud that this demonstration will pave the way for others in New York City to improve their operations and save money.”
“We congratulate ConEdison for their thorough technical review and acceptance of this invention, and look forward to working closely with them to achieve greater grid stability with this advance,” Murray said.
With the addition of the power from the new co-generation plant, New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center will generate between 60 percent and 100 percent of its own electricity.
“Co-generation is a win for patients, a win for the environment and a win for our Hospital’s bottom line,” says Dr. Steven J. Corwin, executive vice president and COO of New York-Presbyterian Hospital. “Cleaner air means healthier communities, and the dollars saved by using this technology can be redirected to patient care. By showing that co-generation is possible even given the challenges of a complex, urban environment, we hope to provide a model for other hospitals across the country to do the same.”
For many years, NYSERDA has offered incentives to commercial and institutional customers to install clean, efficient Combined Heat and Power (CHP – also known as cogeneration) parallel generating systems throughout the state. To guard against compounding any damage to the grid during blackouts, ConEdison has required added safety disconnect requirements in certain neighborhoods in New York City. This is the first safety disconnect that has been approved for use by ConEdison. This new switch operates at lightning-fast speed to provide absolute assurances that the grid will be protected and will make co-generation possible for customers in New York City, where the ConEdison distribution network lacks buffers to handle potential backfeeds.
For New York-Presbyterian, the system will generate electricity during normal operation to supplement the power it receives from ConEdison. It will reduce the hospital’s demand on the grid during normal service, supplement the hospital’s power needs, and continue to provide power to the hospital during a grid-power interruption. In the case of a grid interruption or blackout, the fuse will disconnect the generator from the grid, and the generator will continue to supply back-up power for the hospital’s use.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority co-funded the 7.5-megawatt system with two contracts: $1 million for part of the CHP installation cost and $110,000 for installing and demonstrating the new powered fuse in a controlled setting. ConEdison’s approval was granted based on the speed of the pyrotechnic fuse action during a grid power interruption and its ability to prevent the hospital’s generator from backfeeding power to the disabled grid and damaging Con Edison’s system.
Last Updated: 11/26/2012