Shaw Industries Group, Inc. (Shaw) has committed to building a cogeneration, Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plant, at its Columbia, S.C. fiber production facility. The electric power plant will provide electricity for the plant and utilize the waste (exhaust) heat from a turbine to produce steam. This production will be enough to meet the entire steam demand of the plant and will replace the majority of electricity supplied by a utility company. With construction well underway, the power plant is expected to be operational by Q1 2018.
CHP technology has been growing in popularity and in number of installations worldwide. It is a very efficient technology when both electricity and thermal (steam, hot air or hot water) are required in close proximity to one another. CHP technology can operate with overall efficiency of 75 percent or greater, compared to 35 percent efficiency for electricity from the fuel entering a power plant to the end use in the plant or in a home.
This increased efficiency saves energy overall by using less fuel to provide the same amount of steam and electricity to the plant. Using less fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 26,000 metric tonnes per year and significantly reduces plant energy costs. That’s an impact equal to removing almost 5,500 passenger vehicles from the road each year.
"Sustainability is an engine for innovation throughout our operations,” stated Paul Murray, vice president of sustainability and environmental affairs. "This shift makes environmental and economic sense and is a long-term investment in the community and our associates -- ensuring the site remains competitive and viable, supporting jobs and economic development in the community.”
Since 2011, Shaw has invested more than $30 million to help reduce its energy and greenhouse gas impacts. This further investment is indicative of Shaw’s commitment to reduce both its energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 40 percent by 2030 compared to 2010.