Central Utilities Plant (CUP)
Completed in 1995 and upgraded in 2019-2020, the Central Utilities Plantís William R. Dickson Cogeneration Facility (Building 42, on the northern edge of campus) helps MIT conserve energy and reduce pollution. Cogeneration Ė which achieves high efficiency by using one fuel to generate two types of energy Ė is one of the cleaner and most cost-effective options for producing power.
In MITís cogeneration plant, two natural gas turbines are used to produce both electric and thermal energy. The waste heat from the turbine exhaust is captured in heat recovery steam generators, and the resulting steam is used for heating and cooling (via chillers that are driven by steam turbines).
The facility has won a number of awards, including the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award for environmental excellence from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Energy in 2002.