As part of an international collaboration to combat climate change through improvements to local energy supply, Harvard’s Blackstone Steam Plant and Campus Services Energy & Facilities recently hosted a delegation from the Beijing District Heating Group (BDHG), including its president. BDHG provides heat to more than one million people throughout China’s second largest city and relies heavily on coal. The group toured Blackstone, which generates steam heat for 85% of the campus and operates almost entirely on natural gas. The plant can generate more than 5 megawatts of electricity as a by-product of steam production and the installation of a highly efficient gas-turbine will boost that number to more than 12 megawatts. In total, fuel switching and the combined heat and power system at the plant have reduced campus emissions by 31,000 MTCDE.

The International District Energy Association, an industry trade organization of which Harvard is a member, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China and three other countries across Europe and Asia outlining a framework for increasing efficiency and reducing emissions through the energy systems of cities and communities. The tour was part of the larger effort to exchange information.

“The folks from Beijing came to see how we’re greening our energy supply,” said Director of Engineering & Utilities Bob Manning. “The improvement projects we’ve undertaken at Blackstone have had a positive impact on the environment and we’re always proud to share what we’re doing.”

To learn more about Harvard’s utility systems or to view Harvard’s energy production in real-time, click here.

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