In a Co-generation Plant (aka Combined Heat & Power or CHP), waste heat from generating electricity is captured and re-used for domestic heating and hot water. Tri-generation (CHCP) can additionally use the waste heat for domestic cooling.

Digitally manipulated from original source: Marathon Engine Systems

Issues Addressed

Two main issues are addressed with co- and tri-generation:


Our current power grids run at only about 30% efficiency, with the majority of the losses happening at the plant in the form of heat. If that heat is recovered and used for heating and cooling, we see efficiencies around 90%.[1]

District Heating/Cooling

CHP/CHCP lends itself well to district heating and cooling. The resiliency debate has brought the idea of "micro-grids" to the forefront and district heating and cooling can go hand-in-hand with these micro-grids.

The largest obstacle to these concepts is space. What is essentially a miniature power plant must be installed on-site. For this reason, campuses and other large buildings are the prime candidates.


The most common applications for CHP/CHCP are hospitals, hotels, airports, factories. high-rises. university campuses, stadiums, malls, and industrial campuses.

Related Reports

GPRO: Operations and Maintenance Essentials
EPA Guide


  1. ^
    GPRO: Operations and Maintenance Essentials. Publication no. V1.7. Urban Green Council, n.d. Web.