West Hartford rehab facility adds CHP technology
The West Hartford Health and Rehabilitation Center (WHH&RC) is the latest facility to discover that Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology (also known as cogeneration) coupled with the State of Connecticut Energy Independence Act offer a powerful mechanism for managing energy budgets.
The 160-bed center, a privately owned and family operated skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, had undertaken an intensive review ofi ts energy requirements and budgetary constraints in a downturned economy while also seeking ways to align with the Town of West Hartford’s acclaimed “Green Energy” initiatives.
“We have a fiscal responsibility to our residents and staff to ensure the financial viability of the facility,” said Russell Schwartz, Director of Operations for WHH&RC. “After researching different energy options, we came to realize that distributed generation using CHP technology represented the best option for us to reduce our operating costs while enabling us to use the savings toward investment in our operations along with employee retention. Our facility also has taken the lead in becoming more environmentally friendly.”
WHH&RC ultimately chose a 75kw Aegen Thermopower CHP system to complement its existing energy matrix, which also included newly installed high-efficiency natural gas boilers and a retrofitted energy- efficient lighting system. The CHP unit will allow energy planners to utilize a single fuel source – natural gas – to generate up to 50% of the facility’s electricity requirements and also to provide recovered heat for domestic hot water and space heating. The CHP system designed and installed by Aegis Energy, EDF Group, of Holyoke, MA is expected to save the facility approximately $60,000 per year in energy costs.
Energy management staff at the facility worked closely with representatives of Aegis and locally with key account representatives from Connecticut Natural Gas to develop the project.
“Aegis provided us with an in-depth complimentary energy analysis and a comprehensive plan for the integration with our existing building infrastructure,” Schwartz explained.
CNG representatives have been working closely with WHH&RC energy planners for about two years. “It was important for us to get involved early in the process because we could ensure that the appropriate gas supply was available for the project,” said Rick DiFazio, CNG key account representative.
“The 75kw Aegis unit proved to be a perfect fit for this type of health care facility. It allows them to use energy more efficiently, they’ll save a lot of money in operating costs and the incentives help them with the startup costs. And they are greening up, too!”