Combined Heat and Power
A power plant generates electricity by using steam to push a turbine. After the steam pushes the turbine, there is still energy left in the steam, but not enough to push another large turbine. The steam does have a lot of heat left, that can be used to heat water. Capturing this heat allows the plant to be much more efficient, basically getting two energy products from one fuel input. This process is described as combined heat and power or cogeneration. The plant on West Kellogg Boulevard uses wood waste and natural gas to create steam to push a turbine to generate electricity, and then it uses the leftover steam to heat water to heat the city.
Where can I find combined heat and power?
Saint Paul’s combined heat and power plant can be found at Kellogg and Market Street and is the riverside part of the District Energy facility. There are signs on the plaza along Kellogg that explain how this technology works.