In 2009 the 23,000 SF Energy Center started producing steam for campus and one year later started producing electricity. The center houses one combustion gas turbine/heat recovery steam generator (Boiler/HRSG) combination. Working together, these facilities have the capability of operating on natural gas, #2 diesel, biodiesel, or a blend of methane and natural gas. The combination has the capability of producing 28-110K pounds of steam per hour and 5.5 megawatts (MW) of electricity.
The Energy Center also has two auxiliary boilers, each producing 82.5K pounds of steam per hour. Both boilers have the capability of operating on natural gas, #2 diesel, biodiesel or a blend of methane and natural gas.
The plant has the capability of producing 5.5 MW of power. This equates to approximately 50-60% of the annual electricity used by the Corvallis campus. The Energy Center as originally designed was to provide partial power directly to the campus.
The increased cost for more natural gas is offset by the 50-60% reduction in electricity purchased. It is important to think about natural gas and electricity as energy, so the net result of cogeneration is increased efficiency in energy production.
The Energy Center’s design was to LEED Platinum standards, featuring rainwater harvesting for make up water, and radiant floor heating water generated from waste heat, recovered from the steam systems. Boiler make up is preheated using waste heat for increased efficiency. Natural ventilation, and natural lighting, also help to increase the building’s electrical efficiency. The building is approximately 52% more efficient than the Oregon Building Code. The Energy Center has reduced campus carbon footprint; (CO2) emissions have been lowered by approximately 38% compared to OSU's previous heat plant.
OSU Energy Center first Platinum LEED-certified power facility in nation