Maine businesses invited to April 3 workshop on combined heat and power systems to reduce energy costs

Editor’s note: Story updated March 26

Helping Maine businesses explore the benefits of installing combined heat and power systems to reduce energy costs is the focus of a workshop April 3 at the University of Maine at Augusta.

The free public workshop will be held 8 a.m.–2:30 p.m. in Jewett Hall, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s New England Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership (CHP TAP) at the University of Maine, in collaboration with the University of New Hampshire. Registration is online. For more information or to request a reasonable accommodation, contact Suzanne Watson, 207.712.3016;

Participants will learn about the benefits of installing a mid-size generator at their business that will provide both electricity and heat for facilities. Combined heat and power (CHP) — also known as cogeneration — is an efficient and clean approach to generating both electric power and heat from a single fuel source, like biomass or natural gas. Furthermore, heat and power can be produced on-site, reducing the need to purchase electricity from the distribution grid, greatly increasing energy security and resiliency, according to David Dvorak, CHP TAP director and UMaine professor of mechanical engineering technology.

In addition to Dvorak, expected workshop speakers include A.J. Ballard, energy manager for the Maine Army National Guard. Industry leaders will speak about on-site CHP for critical market sectors in Maine — manufacturing, commercial and multifamily, health care and greenhouses — and the tools and resources available for installation.

In 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy selected UMaine to lead one of eight regional partnerships dedicated to the promotion, technical support and deployment of cost-effective and highly efficient CHP technologies nationwide. UMaine, in partnership with the University of New Hampshire and Watson Strategy Group, oversees the CHP TAP in the Northeast, including Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

The UMaine-led Northeast Combined Heat and Power Center (NECHPC), as well as the seven other CHP TAP program centers nationwide are supported by $25 million of DOE funding. The NECHPC will receive more than $2 million of that total.

The goal of the multi-institution NECHPC is to facilitate and accelerate the deployment of CHP technologies in the Northeast by providing assistance and technical support to businesses and institutions looking to invest in CHP technology.