Legislature Strengthens CHP Disaster Preparedness Policy in Texas

CHP Technology Keeps the Power On for Critical Infrastructure

Jun 04, 2013, 13:15 ET from Texas Combined Heat & Power Initiative

AUSTIN, Texas, June 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Extreme weather and other disasters are becoming more frequent and are the cause for rising concern. Texas Combined Heat & Power Initiative (TXCHPI) salutes Texas policy leaders for new legislation to assist disaster preparedness in Texas communities.  Combined Heat and Power, CHP, is an on-site power generation technology that has proven to be resilient during times of natural disasters.  Facilities that install CHP technologies will be better prepared before any emergency strikes to withstand the loss of power thereby keeping critical missions moving forward and speeding post disaster recovery. 

HB 1864 sponsored by Rep. Gene Wu (Dist, 137, Houston) and shepherded through the Senate by Senator Craig Estes (Dist. 30 Wichita Falls) was passed by the Texas Legislature and now awaits approval by Governor Perry.  The measure instructs the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) to issue compliance guidelines for how to conduct a CHP feasibility analysis prior to the construction or renovation of any government facility deemed to be critical for disaster preparedness and response. 

The analysis is currently required by law as part of the Hurricane Ike Disaster Preparedness statutes previously passed in the 81st Session of the Legislature, but the current law lacks guidance for how to effectively perform the analysis. Installation of CHP is recommended if there is a favorable cost/benefit ratio, and the analysis will help accurately determine the ratio.

Combined Heat and Power typically uses underground natural gas lines that are safe from most causes of power outages by both storm and non-storm events.  Installing CHP prevents loss of electricity at critical infrastructure including:

  • Hospitals
  • Security Command Centers
  • Data Centers
  • Prisons and jails
  • At facilities used as shelters
  • And at other vitally important locations

Since CHP technology uses Texas natural gas it helps sustain an industry with nearly 12 percent of total Texas employment and that contributes more than $100 billion to the Texas economy each year.

"We are confident that the SECO issued guidelines for evaluating CHP prior to building or renovating critical government facilities will lead to better information for our elected officials to consider in order to prepare for natural disasters and power outages," says Rich Herweck, RobustEnergy and President of the Texas CHP Initiative.

About the TXCHPI:
The Texas Combined Heat & Power Initiative (TXCHPI) is a non-profit association of business interests that supports clean, energy-efficient, CHP technology applications in industrial, commercial and institutional settings. TXCHPI champions CHP as the most effective, economical and environmentally sensible energy option.

Debrah Dubay, Dubay Communications
512-627-3782, Debrah@DubayCo.com
Paul Cauduro, Executive Director, Texas CHP Initiative
512-705-9996, Executivedirector@texaschpi.org

SOURCE Texas Combined Heat & Power Initiative