Abbott Power Plant
Originally constructed in 1941, Abbott Power Plant supplies 88% of the energy demand for the Urbana campus. This cogeneration facility simultaneously produces both steam and electricity for campus with an emphasis on safety, reliability, and environmental responsibility.
Flexible and Reliable
Reliable energy service is critical to the university and its $640M in funded research. Abbott Power Plant utilizes natural gas, coal, or fuel oil in its boilers and combustion turbines. This fuel flexibility enhances system reliability and helps manage energy market financial risks. If a fuel becomes unavailable, prices climb, or campus energy demands increase, Abbott can adapt its fuel sources and ensure uninterrupted service to campus.
Cost Efficient Cogeneration
There are five primary types of energy sources that operate at Abbott.
Two gas turbines, which can operate on natural gas or fuel oil, are utilized to generate electricity. Each gas turbine is connected to a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) that captures the hot exhaust gases from the turbine and uses that heat to generate steam. Three gas-fired boilers (natural gas and/or fuel oil) and three coal-fired boilers convert water to steam.
The steam generated in the HRSGs and boilers is used to operate steam turbine generators (STGs). The STGs use the high pressure steam from the boilers/HRSGs to spin a steam turbine that drives a generator to produce electricity. The low pressure exhaust steam from the turbines is sent to campus and used to serve campus energy needs including but not limited to space heating, water heating, and space cooling.
More than 250 campus buildings use the steam produced at Abbott for their heating. The gas turbines and steam turbine generators together produce enough energy to power 25,000 average U.S. homes.
Using the best available air pollution control technology, Abbott Power Plant meets or exceeds all Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) emission standards. Electrostatic precipitators (ESP) and a flue gas desulfurization unit (scrubber), supported by a Continuous Emission Monitoring System (CEMS) in the stack, remove 90% of air pollutants, providing significant environmental benefits compared to conventional electric generation and heat-only systems. Efficient cogeneration coupled with emission reduction equipment have reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 101,000 tons per year, the equivalent of removing 18,000 automobiles off Illinois highways or the reforesting of 21,000 acres of land.