University of Rochester
Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Cogen water line installation begins

Over the next few weeks, construction crews are scheduled to begin installing the first of nearly four miles of pipe lines from the Central Utilities Plant to River Campus buildings and the Medical Center in conjunction with the plant's upgrade to "cogeneration."

The $42.8 million cogeneration project will enable the plant to simultaneously produce electricity and steam used to heat and cool River Campus and Medical Center buildings. At the same time, many campus buildings will receive hot water, rather than steam, from the plant in a more efficient heat distribution system.

Faculty, staff, and students can expect minimal disruption to traffic flow and parking, although specific work sites may require interruption of walkways and parking areas. Some noise, dust, and debris can be expected.

"Our goal is to keep interruptions to a minimum," says Dave Weed, director of central utilities. He said that the work is scheduled to continue into the fall as weather permits and resume in the spring after a break during the winter months. Work around the residence halls is scheduled to be done during next summer.

An overview of the project is available on the Facilities and Services Cogeneration Web site at The site contains a list of frequently asked questions and technical details about the project as well as campus maps highlighting areas and buildings that will be affected. Faculty, staff, and students are invited to submit questions or comments online.

Members of the University community who would like to receive regular status reports on this and other facilities projects are encouraged to sign up for the Facilities and Services listserv by visiting In addition, Facilities and Services staff will be glad to schedule group or departmental presentations on the cogeneration project; to request such presentations, contact Facilities and Services at

The cogeneration initiative will include installation of a low pressure steam turbine and a high pressure boiler and high pressure steam turbine at the Central Utilities Plant, along with installation of the hot water lines. When the upgrade is completed in fall 2006, the plant will produce approximately half of the annual electric requirement of the River Campus and Medical Center while lowering air emissions from electricity-producing plants that are directly attributable to University energy needs.

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