Newsletter for the Central & Midwest Regions of the U.S. DOE CHP TAPs
March 26, 2021 | Issue 2 View as Webpage
Upcoming Events
MI Power Grid Stakeholder Session: New Technologies and Business Models
Date: April 07, 2021  
Time: 01:00 PM - 05:00 PM

This stakeholder session is for the New Technologies and Business Models Workgroup of MI Power Grid.
Divert Food Waste From Landfills !!!

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5 recently awarded the Energy Resources Center - University of Illinois at Chicago with a two year grant to advance energy sustainability and improve the environment by supporting the development of new anaerobic digester infrastructure. The goal of the Technical Education and Analysis for Community Hauling and Anaerobic Digesters (TEACH AD) Program is to help communities and water resource recovery facilities in the Midwest region divert food waste from landfills by providing education and no-cost technical assistance to explore the increased adoption of anaerobic digestion (AD) and renewable energy biogas technologies. Anaerobic digestion recovers part of the value that is still present in the wasted food, such as energy and nutrients. One of the valuable outputs from an AD is the biogas which is a methane-rich gas that can be used as a fuel and burned into a CHP system to produce the heat and electricity.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is Interviewed by ReImagine Appalachia
On January 15, 2021, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown participated in a virtual roundtable hosted by ReImagine Appalachia, a coalition of individuals and organizations working to revitalize the economy and environment in the Ohio River Valley. The Senator was joined by a variety of panelists, each discussing ways to help Appalachia embrace a new kind of manufacturing that reduces harm to the environment, strengthens local economies and supports industries working to mitigate climate change. In turn, Senator Brown asked how legislators like himself can contribute to these efforts. Among other requests, direct investment from the federal government was high on many wish lists.

Among the speakers were Cliff Haefke and Graeme Miller from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Midwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership (CHP TAP) who discussed how combined heat and power (CHP) could assist in transforming the industrial and commercial sectors in Appalachia.

CHP is a suite of technologies that generates electricity and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source at very high fuel use efficiencies. Due to its increased efficiency, CHP can significantly lower energy costs for businesses, increase energy resiliency and reliability, and reduce the emissions of all pollutants including carbon dioxide. “We began this work in the context of national climate conversations which have largely been driven by folks on the East and West Coasts, but have significant implications for Appalachia,” said Amanda Woodrum, senior researcher at Policy Matters Ohio.

Policy that considers our country’s coasts before its heartland is not a new legislative pitfall. “Appalachia has long fueled the prosperity of the rest of the nation while [suffering] in poverty, exploited by absentee corporations in the extractive industries,” said Woodrum. That’s why she and her colleagues are calling for a federal climate infrastructure program for Appalachia developed by the people who live there. This is also why ReImagine Appalachia convened this virtual roundtable to connect people doing work on the ground with local policymakers invested in their efforts.
New Technologies and Business Models
On April 7th, 2021, the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) will convene a panel meeting to discuss how Combined Heat and Power, Waste Heat to Power, and other clean distributed generation technologies can play an increased role in the state’s energy landscape. This panel is part of the New Technologies & Business Models working group designed by the MPSC to explore how the regulatory framework in Michigan could be adapted to better address these technologies. The aim of this working group is to create a shared understanding of different technologies and potential applications, identify barriers and potential solutions for Commission consideration, and help define the appropriate roles of utilities and other entities in supporting a more decentralized energy system that is clean, affordable, reliable, and accessible.

Panelists on this working group will discuss:
  1. The drivers and trends for adoption of these technologies and the potential impacts under various scenarios.
  2. The roles of utilities, third parties, regional transmission organizations, and customers under different technology configurations or applications. What should these roles be under different utility business models?
  3. The information exchange, controls, or monitoring systems that are needed to enable a safe, reliable, and cost-effective integration of technologies.

Panelists include:
  • Graeme Miller, Assistant Director, U.S. DOE Midwest Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership
  • Patricia Sharkey, Executive Director, Heat Is Power
  • Lynn A. Kirshbaum, Deputy Director, Combined Heat and Power Alliance

All interested stakeholders are encouraged to attend and provide feedback. Registration is free. More information

Wins for CHP and WHP - 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act

Good news for combined heat and power (CHP) and waste heat to power (WHP) industries that received support,

  • An extension of the Investment Tax Credit for CHP
  • An expansion of the tax credit to include WHP
  • Reauthorization of and appropriations for the DOE’s CHP Technical Assistance Partnerships
  • Funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s CHP Partnership and direction to the Agency to develop standards under the Clean Air Act which credit emission reductions achieved through efficiency including CHP
  • The Clean Industrial Technology Act
  • The Grid Modernization Act
  • The LEADING Act.

Congratulations to the Combined Heat and Power Alliance for their education efforts.

Learn more: View bipartisan package.

Governor Pritzker’s Clean Energy Principles include CHP
In addition to signing the Executive Order joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, the Governor laid out a comprehensive energy plan that includes support of CHP and other industrial decarbonization programs. The plan's eight principles include:
  • Enhancing energy efficiency
  • Advancing equity in the growing clean energy economy
  • Supporting communities transitioning to clean energy
  • Electrifying the transportation sector
  • Making Illinois a renewable energy leader.

Introducing New, Publicly-Available
Combined Heat and Power Analysis Tools
In early 2021, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) released the Combined Heat and Power expansion to the REopt Lite Tool. This expansion allows users to analyze various CHP configurations and technology types and even includes absorption chilling and thermal storage options. According to NREL, the REopt Lite web tool helps commercial building managers:

  • Evaluate the economic viability of grid-connected PV, wind, battery storage, CHP, and thermal energy storage at an existing site
  • Identify system sizes and battery dispatch strategies to minimize energy costs
  • Estimate how long a system can sustain critical load during a grid outage.

This tool is free and publicly available at

Another publicly available resource, the CHP Screening Tool, was recently updated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This Excel-based tool provides an initial “screen,” or preliminary assessment, of the economic feasibility of implementing a CHP system at a specific facility. The tool is intended for users who are in the early stages of exploring a project. It uses annual energy consumption figures to estimate the size and economic performance of a potential CHP system for the facility. Either historical load data for existing buildings or modeled loads for new buildings is used. Cost and performance data for commercially available CHP systems are also used to complete the assessment.

The tool is free and publicly available at
Available No-Cost U.S. DOE CHP Technical Assistance Resources
The U.S. DOE Midwest and Central Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Technical Assistance Partnerships (TAP) help regional businesses and communities reduce their energy costs, improve efficiency, and strengthen their energy resiliency and reliability through the use of CHP. The CHP TAPs provide unbiased, fuel-neutral and technology-neutral resources and expertise to help industrial, commercial, federal, institutional, and other large energy users evaluate CHP for their facilities. CHP TAPS also provide no-cost technical assistance through the project development process, from initial CHP screening to installation. 

Who are the U.S. DOE CHP TAPs?
The Central and Midwest CHP TAPs serve as two of the ten regional CHP TAPs of the U.S. Department of Energy to promote and assist in transforming the CHP market. They are located within the University of Illinois Chicago and serve the states of IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, OH, and WI.

Questions? Contact
Cliff Haefke, Director, U.S. DOE Central and Midwest CHP TAPs, [email protected]
Jane Epperson, Assistant Director, U.S. DOE Central CHP TAP, [email protected]
Graeme Miller, Assistant Director, U.S. DOE Midwest CHP TAP, [email protected]