By Tom Smith, President, and David Gardiner, Executive Director
As we look to enjoy a much-needed holiday season and wrap up the whirlwind of a year that 2020 has been, the CHP Alliance is pleased to share a recap of our achievements over the last 12 months and we are excited to see how the CHP community will grow in the coming years.
Despite a tumultuous year, in which many CHP companies experienced economic setbacks, the industry showed tremendous resilience and the Alliance made great strides in its inaugural year. We increased our membership by roughly 50% from our foundational year as a new organization and saw membership growth not only in the CHP developer and manufacturing sectors, but also through distribution partners, utilities, and nonprofit organizations.
This past September, we held our first annual National Summit on CHP—themed CHP’s role in a low-carbon future—where over 250 attendees from 31 states and eight foreign countries convened virtually across a three-day span. With over 50 speakers, 28 event sponsors, and 27 promotional partners, the Alliance brought together a diverse network of individuals committed to promoting CHP and its benefits. Senator Angus King (I-ME), Representative Sean Casten (D-IL), and Representative David McKinley (R-WV) all received CHP Champion Awards for their continued support of CHP policies at the federal level. Eric Morrow (Lochinvar), Patricia Sharkey (Midwest Cogeneration Association), and Ken Duvall (Sterling Energy) also received CHP Champion Awards for their dedication to the industry over the years.
Shifting to the political landscape, we garnered successes at both the national and state levels. The Alliance helped conduct the largest campaign in recent years to support the funding for the DOE CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships programs, with over 24 companies sending requests to a dozen policymakers in ten key states. We met virtually this year with nearly 20 members of Congress and legislative staff to educate policymakers on the basics of CHP, its benefits, and its potential in their states. On the state and regional level, we engaged with over 14 states across every region of the US, from successfully advocating for the inclusion of CHP language in the Virginia Clean Economy Act, to endorsing comments from our NECHPI affiliates in Massachusetts, and to working with our members and many companies outside of the Alliance on redefining tax code qualifications in Puerto Rico.
Lastly, the COVID-19 pandemic showed everyone the importance of conducting business as usual in an online setting, and the Alliance did just that. We expanded our reach online through persistent social media campaigns on Twitter and LinkedIn, educational webinars, sector-specific factsheet series, and numerous blog post series. In fact, the Alliance published ten times as many blog posts in 2020 compared to the previous year.
Looking ahead to 2021, we are working to further our successes and continue to expand our reach. To start the year off strong, on January 14th, we will be releasing a white paper, titled “Combined Heat and Power and a Changing Climate: Reducing Emissions and Improving Resilience,” focusing on CHP’s emission and resiliency benefits. We would like to give special thanks to the sponsors of the report: 2G Energy, AB Energy, America Gas Association, Capstone Turbine Corp., Caterpillar, Exergy Partners, Siemens Energy, and Solar Turbines. Along with the report release, we will be hosting a webinar featuring a presentation by Lynn A. Kirshbaum, lead author and Deputy Director of the CHP Alliance, and discussion with David Jones, Manager at ICF, and Doug Vine, Senior Energy Fellow at Center for Climate and Energy Solutions. We look forward to using the findings of the paper to further educate audiences on the role CHP can play as a climate change solution.
In addition, we will continue to grow our member base, promote the benefits of CHP through our diverse networks and online platforms, hold our second annual National Summit on CHP, foster deeper connections with regional industry coalitions and other environmental groups, and advocate for pro-CHP policies at both the federal and state levels.
Thank you for your continued support of the CHP Alliance and here’s to an even more successful 2021.