Clean power and industrial efficiency can be attained by leveraging energy in it’s various forms. Clean power and industrial efficiency go hand-in-hand as you ultimately increase efficiency when utilizing energy in the most effective means possible. Technologies like Combined Heat and Power (CHP), also known as cogeneration, is the concurrent production of electricity or mechanical power and useful thermal energy (heating and/or cooling) from a single source of energy. Instead of purchasing electricity from a local utility and then burning fuel in a furnace or boiler to produce thermal energy, consumers use CHP to provide these energy services in one energy-efficient step. As a result, CHP doubles fuel efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Where opportunity fuels or renewable biomass are available, CHP can take advantage of these for low-cost sustainable power and heat.

Waste Heat Recovery generally refers to capturing waste heat that an industrial site or pipeline compressor station is already emitting and turning it into clean and renewable electricity, recycled thermal energy, or mechanical energy. This is an important resource for vastly improving industrial energy efficiency, improving the competitiveness of the U.S. commercial and industrial sectors, and providing a source of pollution-free energy.

Through the Southeast Department of Energy Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership, the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center provides CHP and waste heat information, educational events, news, and site assessments. Industrial, commercial, and institutional facilities have access to our engineering team to consider efficiency improvements and the inclusion of renewable energy such as wood, biomass, and others.

Biomass Plant
Why It Matters

U.S. industries currently account for about one-third of energy use in the United States. Energy-intensive industries use large amounts of energy to chemically or physically transform raw materials into products such as aluminum, chemicals, forest products, glass, metals, mining, and petroleum refining.

On-going research and development in this area creates new opportunities for these commercial and industrial facilities to improve the efficiency of their processes through state-of-the-art technology and energy management practices.

The Center offers technical services in all aspects of energy efficiency, including overall management, training, and on-site assessments to commercial, industrial, and institutional facilities throughout the Southeastern U.S.


Industrial and manufacturing operations with energy intensive processes as well as large institutional or commercial sites may realize a sizeable savings in energy costs through the application of a combined heat and power system or district energy project. Look to us for objective, data-driven, technical assistance to help determine the best technology to meet your objectives.

Go beyond conventional energy efficiency by evaluating the consumption of all processes and systems in your facility. Including: boilers and steam systems, compressed air systems, energy intensive processes, fuel and feedstock flexibility, motors, fans, pumps, process heating, and energy management and automation. Our services are used to make informed decisions on energy-driven expenditures and improvements.

Our program includes customized technical assessments or energy audits based on audit definition as accepted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Our team provides Level I, II and III audits depending upon the level of detail required for the facility. The team also provides USDA Rural Energy for America Program energy efficiency audits specific to agricultural producers and rural small businesses. As the Southeast Department of Energy Combined Heat and Power Technical Assistance Partnership, we provide no-cost qualification screenings to those interested in learning the viability of a combined heat and power (or cogeneration) system.

These analyses will provide a complex study once a technology is deemed viable.

Often energy challenges are unique to an industry, a process or an objective. Our team is able to conduct a study of a specific obstacle to identify solutions and opitmize energy performance.


The Clean Power and Industrial Efficiency program has experience in a variety of technologies and fuel sources. Our comprehensive approach to energy challenges, conducted from a neutral perspective, allows for an objective analysis of the best alternatives, leading to the most effective results.

Energy effiicency is one of the most cost-effective means of reducing operational costs. By assessing opportunities to reduce waste in energy, including processes and systems, our recommendations provide a roadmap to a more effective use of energy as a resource.

Combined heat and power is an efficient and clean approach to generating on-site electric power and useful thermal energy from a single fuel source. This production reduces line losses and strain on grid infrastructure while also increasing energy effiicency, reliability, and security. The Southeast DOE CHP TAP provides technical assistance to educate, promote and assist in deploying CHP and waste heat to power systems.

District energy systems are a highly efficient way to heat and cool multiple buildings in a given locale from a central plant. They use a network of underground pipes to pump steam, hot water, and/or chilled water to multiple buildings in an area such as a downtown district, college or hospital campus, airport, or military base. Providing heating and cooling from a central plant requires less fuel and displaces the need to install separate space heating and cooling and hot water systems in each building. The sources of thermal energy distributed by district energy systems vary, but are often connected to combined heat and power plants. Our technical assistance includes expertise in the design and operation of district energy systems.

A microgrid is a local energy grid with control capability, which means it can disconnect from the traditional grid and operate autonomously, which is beneficial in times of crisis like storms or power outages, or for other reasons. A microgrid can be powered by distributed generators, batteries, and/or renewable resources like solar panels. Depending on how it’s fueled and how its requirements are managed, a microgrid might run indefinitely. As part of the Southeast DOE CHP TAP, assistance is available for those considering the advantages of incorporating a microgrid.

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Members of the community can get involved in the clean transportation conversation via our Fuel What Matters campaign. Visit FuelWhatMatters.org to learn more. NCSU students can get involved through our semester long internship program. Future events for North Carolinians to get behind the wheel of clean transportation vehicles will start at the beginning of 2017. Aside from the events mentioned above, there will be other events coming soon. Be sure to watch this space as new events will be added regularly.

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