The new 28,000-square-foot building, on which construction began in 2013, has allowed BYU-Idaho to replace its coal-fired boilers with natural gas-fired boilers. The original heating plant, in operation since 1963, had reached the end of its usable life span. The new facility was built adjacent to what was the existing heating plant.
The existing plant remained in operation, without interruption, throughout construction of the new facility until the transition was complete. Once the new facility was fully operational, the existing heating plant was demolished and the administration wing of the new facility was built.
In addition to the natural gas-fired boilers, the facility also utilizes cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), by using a 5 megawatt natural gas-fired combustion turbine to produce electricity. The waste combustion heat is captured by a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) that in turn produces steam for the campus, resulting in a more energy efficient means of generating electricity and heat for the campus.
“The new Central Energy Facility was designed and built to support the university for the next 50 years. Through competent design consultants and a great contractor, we will be able to support the future energy needs of BYU-Idaho and its students with this new facility for many years to come,” said BYU-I Managing Director of University Operations Wayne Clark.
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