Co-generation at Yale's Central Power Plant
Constructed in the neo-Gothic style, Yale’s Central Power Plant has been meeting campus energy needs since 1918. The plant originally used coal to meet the University’s growing energy needs; however, today the plant is a co-generation facility that is primarily fueled by natural gas. The plant provides electricity, steam heating, and chilled water to buildings on Yale’s main campus.
Steam and chilled water for heating and cooling are distributed through a series of linked pipes that make up 14 linear miles of steam tunnels, which pass under and interconnect nearly every central campus structure. Most of the steam and chilled water eventually returns to the plant, where they are cleaned of impurities.Converting the Central Power Plant 1n 1995 to a co-generation facility has significantly increased the efficiency of the University’s energy production and reduced the amount of energy that Yale buys from the local utility provider, United Illuminating.