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Editorial: Power plant a smart move for MUSC

By District Energy posted 01-02-2020 14:55


The Post and Courier


Making the Medical University of South Carolina more self-sufficient makes Charleston more resilient. So we like the idea of MUSC installing a gas-fired turbine to generate electricity and steam for its downtown campus.

The cogeneration power plant, which would be built off Erhardt Street behind the Institute of Psychiatry, would produce about 4 megawatts of electricity and all the steam MUSC could use, saving the university $1.5 million to $2 million per year in utility costs, said Greg Weigle, MUSC’s facilities chief.

If successful, the power plant could be expanded in the future. In the meantime, MUSC will continue to maintain about two dozen diesel generators as a backup source of electricity.

Energy consultant Ameresco, which since 2013 has worked with MUSC on other efficiencies estimated to save about $2.5 million per year, recommended the turbine as a way to cut energy costs and improve reliability in the event of a disaster. MUSC’s board is expected to vote on the proposal in the first half of 2020.

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