Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol, announced on June 6, 2013, that the Capitol Power Plant has received the Plantwide Applicability Limit (PAL) permit and Chapter 2 construction permits needed from the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) to begin work on the new cogeneration plant.
“We’re pleased that DDOE approved the permits we need to make the cogeneration plant at the Capitol Power Plant a reality,” said Ayers. “After more than 100 years in operation, significant investment is needed to replace aging infrastructure and equipment in the Capitol Power Plant. Cogeneration is an environmentally-friendly, cost effective, and highly efficient technology.”
The new cogeneration plant will use natural gas to meet the current and future energy requirements of the Congress, allowing the Capitol Power Plant to cease using coal after the cogeneration plant is commissioned and operational. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued its permit for the cogeneration project in January 2013.
Another benefit of cogeneration is it will significantly reduce regional air emissions, thereby helping to improve air quality throughout the D.C. metro area. For example, the regional greenhouse gas emission reductions realized by cogeneration will be equivalent to removing 15,000 vehicles from the road. These permits will also establish facility-wide emission limits for the Capitol Power Plant.
Numerous government organizations and public entities operate cogeneration facilities in Washington, D.C., such as the General Services Administration, the University of Maryland, National Institutes of Health, and John Hopkins University. George Washington University and DC Water also are planning to install and operate cogeneration facilities in the District of Columbia in the next few years.
“The Capitol Power Plant plays an essential role in our long-term energy conservation efforts. We appreciate Congress’s support of the cogeneration project and the efforts of EPA and DDOE to provide the necessary permits to begin construction. Not only will the installation of cogeneration units at the Capitol Power Plant impose much more stringent emissions requirements, they will increase system reliability, improve efficiency, and help save taxpayer money. It’s a win-win situation for everyone,” concluded Ayers.