Bringing Energy Cost Down with an Onsite CHP Power Plant

Lake Geneva, Wis. (April 19, 2012) – What if a hotel or building could install cogeneration with no investment, purchase electricity at a discount and reduce their carbon footprint?

It may sound impossible, but the Green Leaf Inn (GLI) has signed a 15 year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with a third party owner-operator of cogeneration, or combined heat and power systems, providing the benefit of onsite cogeneration with no investment in equipment, and an electricity bill 20 percent below the local utility cost.

The key benefit for the GLI and any business is savings – both in energy cost and capital equipment. Similar to wanting to light a building without having to purchase the power plant, a PPA with an onsite energy system allows customers to pay a discounted price for energy usage without having to buy and maintain the entire energy system.  With the ability to have equipment onsite without having to purchase, companies have the financial flexibility to make improvements that would ordinarily require a large capital investment.  Onsite power is just like the utility. Through the PPA, the business purchases the metered energy every month instead of tying up capital purchasing equipment.

But what is cogeneration or CHP?

Cogeneration is the simultaneous generation of two forms of energy while burning a single fuel.  Typically a natural gas fueled reciprocating engine or a turbine is used to generate the electricity while the thermal energy or waste heat is captured for use onsite giving an overall fuel efficiency of 90 percent. A basic utility power plant generates electricity at a 35 percent fuel efficiency and dumps all of the waste heat.  Europe generates 35 percent of its electricity through cogeneration which is one reason why Europe uses 50 percent less energy than we do in the U.S.

Community Green Energy, an energy performance contractor involved in cogeneration since 1993, designed and coordinated the PPA agreement for the project.

The Green Leaf Inn, located in Delavan, WI, is designed to be the sustainable building of the future; a comfortable luxury retreat amid a living laboratory and catalog of new technology, products, and providers. This will be the first net zero and regenerative energy hotel to be built in North America and will include eight different sustainable energy systems integrated into the project for demonstration purposes. The Inn will include a remodeled section; existing home containing three suites, eating area, commercial kitchen and laundry, and new construction; 19 hotel suites and conference center.


Community Green Energy is an energy project developer and finance group whose goal is to promote and develop renewable energy projects and Green Energy Initiatives nationwide.




Wen-D Kersten


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