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Combined heat and power (CHP) is the simultaneous production of electricity and the utilization of “waste” heat for campus heating requirements. The Cornell Combined Heat and Power Plant (CCHPP) includes two Solar Titan combustion turbines (15 MW each) coupled with Rentech heat recovery steam generators.  Each turbine combusts natural gas to pro­vide the power needed to turn an electric genera­tor. Excess heat leaving the gas turbine is recycled through the heat recovery steam generator to produce steam for campus needs. The CCHPP provides the majority of campus electrical power and generates ~ 180 million kwh each year. 


CHP systems are much more efficient than conventional methods to supply heat and electricity. This project will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with Cornell’s energy needs. It is anticipated that this project will accomplish greater than the following annual reductions due to the offset of on-site coal combustion and grid power:



Predicted Emission Reductions[1], [2]



Annual Reduction

% Reduction


50,000 tons/yr



250 tons/yr



800 tons/yr


[1]Emission reductions include both on-site (central heating plant) and off-site (grid generated electricity) sources.


[2]Emission reductions from off-site sources are calculated using the statewide average emission rates for grid power as provided by the NY Public Service Commission.

View from the South of the CCHPP addition

View from inside the CCHPP