Oak Ridge National Lab going green with steam plant

Oak Ridge National Lab going green with steam plant

Posted: Wednesday, August 6, 2008 8:36 am
By: AP

OAK RIDGE (AP) — The Oak Ridge National Laboratory is going green. The Department of Energy research facility has long studied energy conservation and alternative fuels. Now it will put that knowledge into practice with an $89 million renovation of its 1950s-era steam plant. The power plant will be converted from burning mostly natural gas and oil to biomass, such as wood and wood products. With an annual savings of $8.7 million on water and energy costs, the project could pay for itself in 11 years. The power plant conversion is one of four “energy savings performance contracts” announced by DOE to fulfill an agencywide commitment to cut energy and water use substantially by 2015, with a focus on renewable fuels. Other projects will be at the Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and the National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pennsylvania. Each will be privately financed under partnership arrangements. “Energy service companies” and utilities will buy and install the equipment and be paid from the resulting energy savings. Johnson Controls Inc. of Milwaukee, Wis., is the energy service company for both Oak Ridge and Lawrence Livermore. The “super boiler” planned for Oak Ridge’s steam plant and other energy conservation measures are expected to reduce the lab’s energy consumption by 850 billion BTUs per year and trim water use by 170 million gallons annually. That represents a more than 80 percent reduction in the consumption of natural gas and fuel oil, and a cut in carbon emissions by 730,000 tons. Lab spokesman Bill Cabage tells the Knoxville News Sentinel the emission reductions would comparable to removing 2.1 million cars from the road annually or planting 32 million trees. Construction is expected to take 31 months, with completion in early fiscal 2011. ——— Oak Ridge Nat. Lab: http://www.ornl.gov/ Published in The Messenger 8.6.08

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