WILKES-BARRE, Penn.—Mohegan Sun Pocono will install a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system which will provide a reliable, energy-efficient source for heating and electric power and reduce Mohegan Sun Pocono’s primary energy consumption. Installation of the CHP system by Reading, Penn.-based UGI HVAC Enterprises, Inc. (UGI HVAC) is anticipated to begin in March and be fully operational by fall 2016.
“The implementation of the CHP system is one of our core sustainability initiatives for 2016,” said Mike Bean, president and CEO of Mohegan Sun Pocono. “This system will significantly reduce congestion in the local energy grid while providing us with a reliable, cost-effective energy source. Once fully operational, the electricity and heating from the system is likely to reduce Mohegan Sun Pocono’s carbon footprint by 3,900 metric tons annually, the equivalent of removing 820 vehicles from the road, carbon sequestered from 3,200 acres of forest or the planting of 100,000 trees.”
CHP, also known as cogeneration, is the simultaneous generation of electricity and heat from the same fuel source. This environmentally-friendly process generates electricity onsite using natural gas—a cleaner-burning fuel—to drive engine-based generating equipment. While most power plants in the U.S. do not utilize their waste heat, Mohegan Sun Pocono’s CHP system will capture heat from the engine’s exhaust gases and use it onsite. Aside from energy cost savings, the benefits include reduction in CO2 emissions, a continuous power supply and conservation of valuable fuel resources.
“We are thankful and excited about our partnership with UGI HVAC,” said Robert J. Soper, president of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the owner of Mohegan Sun Pocono. “This project stands as a testament to our commitment to long-term utility planning focused on utilizing cleaner energy sources and leading sustainable hospitality practices.”
UGI HVAC will provide the turnkey CHP system for Mohegan Sun Pocono. UGI Performance Solutions, a business unit of UGI HVAC, developed a system that addressed several areas of need for the facility. Additionally, Mohegan Sun Pocono worked with UGI Utilities to upgrade its natural gas service to support the project.
“We are thrilled to partner with Mohegan Sun Pocono on this project, which continues our expansion of installed CHP capacity to over 2,600 kW in the past three years,” said Kevin Kelleher, vice president of UGI HVAC. ”The system will provide the facility with high-quality power while reducing operating costs and their environmental footprint.”
As part of its commitment to the community, Mohegan Sun Pocono and UGI HVAC worked with Penn State Hazleton engineering students on their Senior Design Capstone project which focused on alternative energy and power generation.
“On behalf of Penn State Hazleton, we were overjoyed to use the CHP system at Mohegan Sun Pocono as a foundation for our learnings,” said Dr. Joseph A. Ranalli, assistant professor of engineering at Penn State Hazleton. Throughout the semester, students gathered information about Mohegan Sun Pocono and its proposed system, and researched how similar systems make use of waste heat.
Students then performed a preliminary analysis on concepts for waste heat use that included space conditioning and generation of additional electrical power. Their research will continue into the spring semester when students will perform a detailed design and economic analysis to help other businesses recognize the benefits that a CHP system provides to themselves and the community.
The estimated cost of Mohegan Sun Pocono’s CHP system is $3 million, and 30 percent will be financed by a grant from the Commonwealth Financing Authority in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.