An article on the barriers to combined heat and power plants from Forbes:
Utilities that want to can often hit projects with repeated delays. [Neal Elliott of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy] describes the sort of scenarios he’s seen. “Require an interconnection study, takes 60 days, present the study, 60 days to do that, the utility takes 90 days to review that, then if they have any questions, you have another 30 days. … When it adds up, it may take a year or two or three. And time is money.”
Some time and money are, of course, needed to ensure that the system integrates properly, Elliott says, but gratuitous delays have “killed more CHP projects than anything else,” he says.
A spokesman for the electric power industry notes that not all electric utilities oppose CHP projects, saying “Every utility is regulated mostly by its state… Whether it can recover costs for efficiency programs is regulated by the states.”
True, but curious. It does raise a question as to why the state regulator must toss a carrot to the utility in order for the utility not to use its monopoly control over the distribution grid to frustrate small time competition by hospitals, universities, airports or other users with concentrated needs for power and heat in the same area.
(HT to Sean Casten at Gristmill. Casten is President & CEO of Recycled Energy Development and was 2007 president of the U.S. Combined Heat and Power Association.)