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The Establishment of COGENCanada, Canada’s National CHP Association


September 1, 2004  By Pulp & Paper Canada


Single purpose thermal electric power plants reject between 50% and 65% of the fuel heat to rivers, lakes, the ocean or the atmosphere. Cogeneration systems use this rejected heat for purposes such as paper drying, chemical processing, space heating or space cooling (absorption chillers). Electricity and thermal energy can be priced at lower levels than when the two forms are generated separately. Significantly lower emissions are also ensured.

Cogeneration systems are near load centres so transmission losses are significantly reduced in most cases. By connecting the cogen system to the steam user electrical systems as well as to the grid, plant shutdowns can be avoided. By islanding (disconnecting from the grid) the cogen system with appropriate loads, key services can be maintained during blackouts. This helps rebuild the grid and avoid extended blackouts. Gas turbine exhaust can be used in applications where the temperature is too high for steam turbine.


The added revenue from the increment of electricity due to the gas turbines allows combined cycle cogeneration plants to use automatic extraction steam turbines. Indeed many plants combined cycle plants in the US and other countries operate without cogeneration. A key objective of COGENCanada is promote policies which ensure that developers building combined cycle power plants take advantage of available potential.

In the past most cogeneration systems including some using gas turbines have supplied electricity only to the steam user. The electrical output has depended on process steam use. A combined cycle system can be designed to provide firm power, peaking power and spinning reserve despite changes in process heat flows. The component of output related to process steam should be base loaded. When the grid calls for more load during certain periods the other component is hot and ready to deliver. This load centre cogeneration can make a major contribution to electricity supply, cost and reliability. Revenue from the high value electricity allows lower cost steam heat.

ThermoShare has a data base of all large thermal energy users, all cogeneration systems and all thermal power plants in Canada in some detail with equipment information and contact names. The firm has a mailing list (some 8000 names) developed in connection with courses. These will become a COGEN Canada asset to facilitate networking among members.


COGENCanada will target industrial process heat and electricity using plants and mills; power plants; independent power producers; equipment suppliers; engineering firms; contractors electric power utilities, natural gas utilities; educational institutions (likely free membership), regulators, environmentalists and researchers. There will be appropriate Government links.

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