Howard continues to work through construction on the steam and power plant, nearly one year after its expected completion date. The construction is part of Howard’s Central Campus Master Plan and promises to modernize the building to reduce its carbon footprint and create a more sustainable campus.
Once finished, the combined heat and power plant (CHP) will use steam and turbines to generate roughly 5.6 megawatts of electricity for the campus, according to a statement emailed to The Hilltop from the university. One megawatt can light up about 1,000 homes, according to The OGM, an online magazine focusing on energy and sustainability.
According to ALChE, a research organization for chemical engineering professionals, combined heat and power (CHP) systems generate electricity or mechanical power and useful heat from a single source of energy.
According to a 2021 article by The Dig, Howard announced a 20-year partnership with ENGIE North America, a company “focused on creating efficient and long-term carbon-reducing solutions” and “supporting their customers through renewable and low-carbon energy transition,” to renovate the plant.
The partnership promised to modernize and maintain the steam power plant with the goal of construction to be completed by 2022. It is unclear why there has been a delay in completion.
Throughout this partnership, ENGIE is responsible for designing, constructing, operating and maintaining the new plant as a way to reduce Howard’s carbon footprint, according to the Dig. This modernization of the steam plant aligns with the fourth pillar of “Improving Efficiency and Effectiveness” within the Howard Forward 2019-2024 strategic plan.