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HARC Leads Energy Resilience and Efficiency through New DOE CHP TAP Award

Posting Date: 
Wednesday, June 6, 2018


HOUSTON (NEWSWISE) JUNE 6, 2018--The Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC) in The Woodlands, Texas has been awarded funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to assist public and private entities considering Combined Heat and Power (CHP). The DOE Technical Assistance Partnerships (TAP) program promotes CHP technology solutions for the industrial and manufacturing sector, critical infrastructure, institutions, commercial facilities, and utilities seeking to reap the many benefits of CHP. Building upon previous TAP program successes, HARC will manage program activities in eleven states over the next five years. The Southcentral TAP Region includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, with DOE funding of about $2.7 million. Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota comprise the Upper West TAP Region, funded with $1.48 million from DOE.

DOE TAPs promote the many advantages of CHP with technical resources to assist in evaluation and installation of CHP systems. While CHP is widely known for improving energy efficiency, it is increasingly recognized as a way to make facilities more resilient against power outages. Natural disasters in recent years have underscored the importance of resilient energy infrastructure for continuity of operations, especially for critical facilities such as hospitals, college campuses, and governmental installations.

Dr. Gavin Dillingham, Director of the DOE Southcentral TAP and the Upper West TAP at HARC, is a noted authority on energy infrastructure and policy, as well as climate adaptation and resilience. “Resilience differs (from reliability) in that the expectation is that a resilient system can adapt and lessen the likelihood that an outage will occur, and if one does occur to manage the event, lessen impacts, recover as quickly as possible and learn how to deal with future outages” says Dillingham.

TAP programs provide a range of technical assistance services for facilities seeking to integrate CHP. Initially, a prospective project is screened to assess economic viability by analysis of energy costs to gauge potential savings with CHP. This service is provided free of charge, thanks to DOE funding. Primary candidates include facilities such as wastewater treatment plants, food processing, data centers, higher education, manufacturing, chemicals and refining, as well as oil and gas operations.

Advanced Technical Assistance (ATA) is also available to provide independent review of Investment Grade Analysis (IGA) or site feasibility studies performed by others. TAP resources can also assist with procurement processes, including support for Request for Proposal (RFP) development and review of proposals received in response to the RFP. TAP expertise may also be brought to bear in support of specific project needs, such as interconnection, tariffs, incentives, operating scenarios, and equipment selection and configurations. When needed, the TAPs can provide updates for previous feasibility studies with revised data on fuel costs, incentives, or other factors affecting the proposed projects.

Energy efficiency has long been a key focus area for HARC, a non-profit research hub founded by George P. Mitchell in 1982. HARC provides independent analysis on energy, air, and water issues for people seeking scientific answers for a sustainable future.

For more information about TAP programs, contact Dr. Gavin Dillingham, Program Director for Clean Energy Policy, Houston Advanced Research Center (281) 364-6045 gdillingham@HARCresearch.org.