Facilities Management

Cogeneration Plant

The mission of the Pacific Union College cogeneration plant is to provide economical and reliable electric power and steam to the PUC campus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Due to rising costs of utilities, PUC made the decision to set up the cogeneration plant in 2003 to reduce operating costs and to enhance the level of power reliability to the campus. Prior to the commission of the cogeneration plant, the college received all of its electricity from PG&E. The steam being used on campus was produced by a direct fire boiler at the PUC heating plant. A collaboration between PUC plant services, Ipower-tech, Patch Services, Coen had the plant operational in early 2006.

Student Employment

The cogeneration plant at PUC utilizes a workforce of student operators to manage the plant 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For student employment opportunities contact visit our PUC's Student Employment page.

Electricity & Steam

The cogeneration plant produces both electricity and steam from a natural gas fired turbine engine. This form of gas turbine power generation is cleaner than combusting other fossil fuels. The Kawasaki combustion gas turbine utilizes a catalytic combustor, which produces less than 2.5ppm (Parts Per Million) Nitrogen Oxides, less than 6ppm of Carbon Monoxide, and less than 2ppm of volatile organic compounds.


The electricity produced by the cogeneration plant provides power to PUC and other buildings within the college premises. It serves a variety of purposes, from powering buildings and computers to powering street lamps and fountains. The Kawasaki natural gas turbine engine produces 1280Kw at maximum load.

Key Benefits of Cogeneration Power

  • Operates independently and cooperatively with the utility company.
  • Allows for campus to operate even with localized power failure/blackout.
  • Provides campus with an inexpensive steam source.


The exhaust heat from the Kawasaki turbine engine is used to create steam for the campus. It provides 20,000 PPH (pounds per hour) of steam to the campus using a Rentech heat recovery steam generator. Steam is used to provide heating and air conditioning for the campus buildings. The condensed steam (condensate) is recycled back to the plant.

Key Benefits of Steam

  • The Plant produces steam by utilizing exhaust energy, reducing cost to the college and reducing our environmental footprint.
  • Steam is also used in absorption chillers for the campus air conditioning, which allows us to utilize the exhaust heat even in the summer.