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Electrical outages planned this month

Physical Plant has announced that major weekend electrical outages will be required in selected buildings later this month in connection with the construction of a new cogeneration power plant near Vassar Street and Massachusetts Avenue.

Roger Moore, superintendent of utilities, and Joseph Cavicchi, project manager, said Physical Plant will notify the occupants of various buildings scheduled for a power shut-off before the outages occur.

The two-year, $37 million project will replace the decades-old power plant with a state-of-the-art cogeneration facility fueled by natural gas.

The plant will generate electricity and steam, providing power, heat and cooling for the campus, with a projected annual energy-budget saving of 15 to 20 percent.

The new facility will allow MIT to produce about 75 percent of its energy needs. The Institute will continue to be a major customer of the Cambridge Electric Light Company, from which it will purchase the remainder of its electricity needs.

The new 22 MWe (megawatts of electricity) plant will be incorporated on the site of the old one and within Building 42, at the intersection of Vassar Street and Massachusetts Avenue. It is expected to be operating by January 1, 1995.

The demolition work, which has just begun, is within Building 42. The major phase of the construction work will begin in December and take 8 to 10 months, they said. This work will include the installation of the 22 MWe combustion turbine generator, a 150,000 lb/hr supplementary-fired heat-recovery steam generator and a new distributed control system.

The plant's electric generator will be driven by natural gas-fired combustion turbine engine. Its hot exhaust gases will be used to produce steam in a heat recovery steam generator to provide heat and cooling.

The plant will be 18 percent more efficient than the current arrangement, in which steam and electricity must be generated in two separate operations.

A version of this article appeared in the June 16, 1993 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 36).

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