MassDEP set to approve application for plant upgrade

April 13, 2017

In connection with plans to upgrade the Central Utilities Plant, MIT has applied to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for the necessary approval and permit to construct and operate two nominal 22 megawatt (MW) combustion turbine generators, each with an associated heat recovery steam generator equipped with duct firing capability and one 2 MW emergency engine. In addition, MIT seeks approval to change fuel use scenarios for five existing boilers.

The Central Utilities Plant produces on-campus electricity and steam through a combined heat and power (CHP) process. CHP systems efficiently generate electricity and steam at the same time and are often referred to as cogeneration.

MassDEP has issued a proposed Comprehensive Plan Approval (CPA) following the determination that proposed upgrades to MIT’s Central Utilities Plant will comply with state and federal air quality regulations and state noise policy. In addition, MassDEP has issued a draft Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit, which states that the project complies with EPA New Source Review (NSR) regulations (as part of the 1977 Clean Air Act Amendments).

Public hearing scheduled for May 22

MassDEP proposes to approve the application and will hold a public hearing for the purpose of receiving public comments on the Proposed Plan Approval and Draft PSD Permit before issuing the Plan Approval and PSD Permit.

Monday, May 22, 2017, 7:00 PM
MIT Building 4-270 [map]
182 Memorial Drive (Rear)
Cambridge, MA 02139

Testimony may be presented orally or in writing at the May 22 public hearing. Written comments will be accepted until 5:00 PM on May 23, 2017. Full details are available on the MassDEP website.


  • Proposed Comprehensive Plan Approval (CPA), issued April 2017 [CPA document]
  • Draft Prevention of Significant Deterioration permit, issued April 2017 [PSD document]
  • MassDEP Notice of Public Comment Period & Hearing, issued April 2017 for May 22 hearing