Plant sustainability features

Planning ahead

MIT’s energy strategy continues to evolve in recognition of the fact that the health and well-being of our community are intimately linked with the conditions of both the natural and built environments on campus. The enhanced and upgraded cogeneration plant is a central component of the Institute’s strong commitment to a more sustainable future.

Key sustainability features of the CUP Upgrade Project:

  • To achieve maximum energy efficiency, MIT is pairing cogeneration and high-efficiency equipment with advanced design.
  • MIT ‘s investment in Best Available Control Technology (BACT) ensures that the plant upgrades will meet all state and federal requirements through the use of clean fuels, efficient equipment, and state-of-the-art emissions controls, including two different catalysts that will reduce the plant's NOx (nitrogen oxides) emissions by 90% compared to the current system.
  • The Institute is also investing in new cooling towers with high-efficiency drift eliminators that reduce particulate emissions and conserve water.
  • Per common practice, MIT will continue to use a dedicated continuous emissions monitoring system (CEMS) in the plant, reporting the results to MassDEP to ensure ongoing compliance with applicable regulations.
  • MIT has finalized a gas supply agreement with Eversource which will enable the cogeneration plant to run entirely on natural gas by 2020 with the exception of emergencies and testing. This will enable MIT to further reduce emissions.
  • By 2019, the Institute will eliminate the use of #6 oil on campus. On the rare occasions when fuel oil is required, the CUP equipment will operate using cleaner #2 fuel oil.
  • Air quality dispersion modeling for the CUP upgrade project shows ambient air impacts that are below state and national standards for all pollutants.
  • The project is making use of an existing facility and existing infrastructure.