"The implementation of the CHP system is one of our core sustainability initiatives for 2016," said Mike Bean, President and CEO of Mohegan Sun Pocono. "This system will significantly reduce congestion in the local energy grid while providing us with a reliable, cost-effective energy source. Once fully operational, the electricity and heating from the system is likely to reduce Mohegan Sun Pocono's carbon footprint by 3,900 metric tons annually, the equivalent of removing 820 vehicles from the road, carbon sequestered from 3,200 acres of forest or the planting of 100,000 trees."
CHP, also known as cogeneration, is the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat from the same fuel source. This environmentally-friendly process generates electricity onsite using natural gas—a cleaner-burning fuel—to drive engine-based generating equipment. While most power plants in the U.S. do not utilize their waste heat, Mohegan Sun Pocono's CHP system will capture heat from the engine's exhaust gases and use it onsite. Aside from energy cost savings, the benefits include reduction in CO2 emissions, a continuous power supply and conservation of valuable fuel resources.
UGI HVAC will provide the turnkey CHP system for Mohegan Sun Pocono. UGI Performance Solutions, a business unit of UGI HVAC, developed a system that addressed several areas of need for the facility. Additionally, Mohegan Sun Pocono worked with UGI Utilities to upgrade its natural gas service to support the project.
As part of its commitment to the community, Mohegan Sun Pocono and UGI HVAC worked with Penn State Hazleton engineering students on their Senior Design Capstone project which focused on alternative energy and power generation.
Throughout the semester, students gathered information about Mohegan Sun Pocono and its proposed system, and researched how similar systems make use of waste heat. Students then performed a preliminary analysis on concepts for waste heat use that included space conditioning and generation of additional electrical power. Their research will continue into the spring semester when students will perform a detailed design and economic analysis to help other businesses recognize the benefits that a CHP system provides to themselves and the community.
The estimated cost of Mohegan Sun Pocono's CHP system is $3 million, and 30 percent will be financed by a grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.