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Riverbay Cogeneration Plant

The night the lights stayed on

Bronx, New York

October 29, 2012. Hurricane Sandy struck the New Jersey shore and headed north. Sandy left hundreds dead, billions in damages, and millions in the dark as power grids throughout the eastern seaboard failed. But not in Co-op City, a residential development in the Bronx, New York.

Co-op City was developed in the 1960s and is one of the world’s largest housing cooperatives. By the early 2000s, its rickety central heating plant and 6MW backup generator needed replacing. What’s more, risks of power outages were high, and community members struggled with soaring energy prices. The repowering of the facility would provide reliable on-site power and energy to the facility.

We contributed engineering and design services to the EPC Contractor for the 40MW combined heat and power (CHP) plant, or “microgrid.” The microgrid distributes power from the plant to the community with surplus power sold to the main grid. The plant achieved commercial operation in 2007 and cuts Co-op City’s energy costs by approximately $15 million a year.

The Riverbay Cogeneration Plant remained online during and after the hurricane, supplying power to Co-op City’s more than 50,000 residents while Sandy knocked the vulnerable US power grid flat.

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