Alternative Energy Plan by Mike Rybacki

Mike Rybacki submitted an alternative energy plan to PSU OPP Director Rob Cooper and PSU OPP Spokesman Alex Novak:

9.11.13 Rybacki Proposal

By email today, Mike reports that he’s scheduled to meet with PSU energy engineers to discuss the proposal further at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, October 8.

Mike’s proposal summary:

In order to strengthen our roots in the area of resilience, this proposal bridges the gap between the idea of cost effective, cleaner, safer, and replenishable fuels and their actual implementation.  All of the West Campus heating, cooling, hot water and system electrical needs would be met, saving money, reducing emissions, heightening safety, and promoting Penn State as a recognized leader in the area of renewables.

  • Monetary savings over natural gas:  $209.3 million over 30 years.
  • Emissions reduction over natural gas:  4.7 billion pounds over 30 years.

The total 30-year cost of a natural gas conversion is projected at $455.0 million:

  • $60 million for pipeline and boiler install
  • $380.0 million for fuel
  • $15 million for steam pipe maintenance

The total 30-year investment for a comparable geothermal retrofit is projected as $245.7 million:

  • $142.8 million for installs
  • $44.2 million for ground source heat pump electricity
  • $56.8 million for coal during 13-year phase-out
  • $1.9 million for biomass retrofits

150 West Campus buildings would be converted to geothermal according to the following time table:

  • 2013-2014 – 6 buildlings
  • 2015 – 8 buildlings
  • 2016 – 10  buildlings
  • 2017 – 12 buildlings
  • 2018-2025 – 14 buildlings per year
  • 2026 – 2 buildlings

During this period, two of the coal boilers would be retrofitted to accept 10% biomass at an investment of $945,000, which would lower coal emissions, most notably with SO2.

The three main coal boilers would be phased out as follows:

  • Boiler #3 by 2018
  • Boiler #2 by 2022
  • Boiler #1 by 2026

With the $209.3 million in 30-year accumulated savings, the following renewable supplementary options can be exercised:

  • $68.4 million ($456,000 per building) grid-tied photovoltaic installs; 114kW average
  • $44.2 million electrical savings due to PV offset
  • $15.0 million solar thermal back up ($100,000 per building):  10% of geothermal capacity
  • $36.7 million ($245,000 per building) nickel-iron battery backup
  • $36.7 million ($245,000 per building) fuel cell emergency generators and system backup
  • $70.8 million ($472,000 per building) NiMH heat-to-electricity transformers, 24 hours/day power generation (this option would reduce the PV investment by 50%)

With this plan, a $60 million, 30-year, surplus would be realized over the proposed centralized natural gas conversion, due to the power of decentralized renewables.

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