NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center

Cogeneration Plant Feasibility Study
New York, N.Y.

Project cost 
$20 million construction cost
Time frame 

Project award - December 2003
Feasibility study completed - April 2004
Approval granted from utility - Fall 2004
CHP plant construction completed - October 2008

Practice areas involved 
Cogeneration/combined heat and power (CHP)
Key services provided 
Planning
Design
The challenge 

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's (NYPH's) renowned Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan is supplied with chilled water and high-pressure steam from a central utilities plant that also serves Cornell University Medical College. Recognizing its year-round need for both thermal and electric power, NYPH in 2003 commissioned WM Group to study the economic and physical feasibility of building a combined heat and power system at the central plant. Such a system would require paralleling with the utility grid, as Con Edison indicated that its substation was under severe short-circuit constraints and unable to accept any fault current contribution from the customer's power-generating equipment.

The smart solution 

As part of the feasibility study, WM Group conducted a detailed short-circuit study and proposed to use state-of-the-art circuit breakers along with a custom-made low-impedance transformer that met Con Edison's requirements of tripping the generator in half a cycle. NYPH became the first facility in Manhattan to receive Con Edison's approval of a CHP system paralleling with the grid. Based on the study results, NYPH decided to proceed with implementing a CHP system at the East 68th Street plant. Expected to save the medical center an estimated $5 million in annual energy costs, the plant is one of NYPH's recent energy efficiency improvements that earned the hospital the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's 2008 Energy Star Award for Sustained Excellence.

"[WM Group] has been responsive, creative and thorough. Projects they have engineered for us range from an entirely new 1,000,000 sf hospital to rebuilding a 60-year-old high-pressure steam plant without interrupting service to the facility. The projects have been consistently on time and within budget."

- Paul Schwabacher, PE
Assistant Director, Facilities
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital

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