ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) has awarded the garrison's Directorate of Public Works a grant to fund the construction of a new energy plant on APG South (Edgewood).

The plant will install combined heat and power (CHP) technology to replace the Harford County Waste to Energy Plant's municipal solid waste burning facility in 2016. The facility currently burns waste to create steam that generates APG's heat, hot water, and humidity controls.

The grant, valued at more than half a million dollars was awarded through the Federal Energy Management Program's Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies funding opportunity.

CHP technology is "the concept of co-generating steam and electric," said Devon Rust, APG installation energy manager. She added that the plant will have a turbine similar to a jet engine that generates electricity and burns natural gas for steam instead of burning solid waste.

"It will be very much like having an additional boiler, just a big one" he said.

With the new CHP technology installed, Rust said the installation will "have as much steam capacity as it's losing from the waste to energy plant. But it will also generate half of Edgewood's electric load, so it's more efficient."

"If you're buying your power from a power plant, that's not very efficient. If you're generating your steam from a boiler, even if it's 80 percent efficient, that's not very efficient," she said.

Rust noted that these energy-production options work at a rate of 51 percent efficiency, from the burning process to energy output. A plant that uses CHP technology, however, works at 75 percent fossil fuel efficiency, a 24 percent increase over alternatives.

She said the technology is also cost-effective and that eventually the energy the new CHP plant produces will save the Army enough money that the plant will essentially pay for its own construction.

Construction on the new CHP, or Co-Gen, plant is targeted for spring 2015. The plant will be located next to an already operating Army boiler plant.

"We're trying to keep all the operations in the same place," Rust said.

DPW employee Jeff Presgraves is the contracting officer representative for the project's energy savings performance contract (ESPC). This type of contract is an alternative financing mechanism authorized by Congress, designed to accelerate investment in cost effective energy conservation measures in existing federal buildings.

"It's not [affecting] Aberdeen's appropriated funds, it's finding an alternative way to fund a project," Rust said. "The DoE grant reaches out to people who are looking into installing this technology in the first place and offers them assistance."

In addition, Rust said the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company encourages the use of CHP technology and will pay the Army rebates for installing the new equipment.

"We're maxing out their rebate program at $2 million," Rust said.

For more information about the upcoming project, contact Rust at 410-306-1125, or email devon.a.rust.civ@mail.mil.