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CHP and American Manufacturing: Providing Reliability and Jobs for Over 100 Years

By William Sherman, Client and Research Manager for the Combined Heat and Power Alliance

To celebrate Manufacturing (MFG) Day 2020, the Combined Heat and Power Alliance released a factsheet on CHP and its importance in U.S. manufacturing, highlighting how CHP and WHP deliver efficient, resilient and dependable power throughout our country’s industrial sectors as well as provide thousands of high paying manufacturing jobs across America. With the Presidential election just around the corner, candidates and policymakers are looking for ways to bring manufacturing jobs back home and make American manufacturing more competitive on a global scale. CHP provides real, tangible solutions to give U.S. companies both economic and environmental advantages over the next thirty years as the world shifts towards decarbonization.

The first CHP plant in the U.S. was the Pearl Street Station, built in 1882 in the Financial District of Manhattan, NYC by the Edison Illuminating Company. Thomas Edison made use of the thermal byproduct from the steam engines by providing heating to local manufacturers and nearby buildings on the same Manhattan block. Fast forward 138 years to today, and there are now over 1,200 existing industrial CHP facilities totaling 66 GW of capacity, helping to reduce total cost of production for plants all over the country.

With CHP serving as a backbone of dependable power for numerous industrial sectors—chemical, pulp and paper, pharmaceutical, automotive—CHP should be at the forefront when U.S. officials are discussing energy policy. It’s proven that, today, properly applied natural-gas based CHP systems in manufacturing plants are likely to be the most efficient means of delivering electric and thermal energy for facility processes, the most cost-effective means of reducing harmful emissions, and provide the most resilient solution in times of electric grid failures.

Our factsheet gives a snapshot of two cases where CHP has been implemented at a manufacturing plant and provided not only tremendous efficiency and economic benefits, but also brought local, long-lasting jobs to American communities.

Procter and Gamble’s (P&G) largest manufacturing site, its paper products plant in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania, employs 2,000 people and produces many essentials that have been in short supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. Installing two CHP systems onsite has allowed the P&G plant to become independent of the traditional grid for its site energy needs, to sell excess electricity back to the local grid, and as a result P&G is realizing an annual gross savings of $16.5 million per year.

The F-D-S Manufacturing Company facility in Pomona, California employs over 130 workers and has been a major packager in the west coast region for over six decades. The six CHP systems installed in 2009 to meet the additional energy needs from site modifications have saved F-D-S Manufacturing approximately $35,000 a month and said systems operate at nearly 80 percent efficiency.

There are countless other stories such as these where CHP has contributed to U.S. plant competitiveness, improved the environment, and retained high paying jobs here on American soil. The U.S. is trying to find solutions to strengthen our nation’s resilience, security, and economy, and CHP is part of that solution.

To download a PDF version of the CHP and Manufacturing factsheet, please click here.

We encourage our readers to use #MFGDay20 and tweet @mfgDay to show your support for American manufacturers.

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