GRU Energy Center South

GRU Energy Center South

Location: University of Florida Shands Cancer Center in Gainesville, Fla.

Client: Gainesville Regional Utilities

Completion Date: 2008

Burns & McDonnell provided architectural, engineering, procurement and construction services to Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) for a new energy center that provides electrical power (normal, essential and emergency), chilled water, steam and medical gases for the University of Florida Shands Cancer Center in Gainesville, Fla.

The primary goal and objective for Shands Cancer Center was to select an energy partner to finance, design, build, own, operate and maintain an energy center for the new campus. The energy center provides efficient and reliable on-site electrical power generation, chilled water, steam and medical gases to meet 100 percent of the cancer hospital's needs in the event of an outage caused by natural disaster or other unplanned events. The energy center meets and in many cases exceeds regulatory requirements for reliability, redundancy and life safe codes.

4.3-MW Combined Heat & Power System

The workhorse of this $45 million facility is a 4.3-megawatt (MW), natural gas-fired, recuperated combustion turbine with guaranteed NOx emissions of 5 parts per million without after-treatment. This ultra-high-efficiency generator can run 24/7 and normally operates in parallel with one of two utility feeds, which come from separate substations in GRU's network. The energy center can generate all of the hospital's and its own power needs on site. The plant produces 4,200 tons of cooling and 30,000 pounds per hour of steam.

The three-floor, 40,500-square-foot GRU Energy Center was designed and built to provide a nominal 4.3 MW of power, 30,000 pounds/hour of steam and 4,200 tons of chilled water capacity to the cancer hospital. The energy center includes a combined heat and power (CHP) system comprised of a 4.3 MW natural gas-fired recuperated combustion turbine with a simple cycle heat rate efficiency of 38 percent and guaranteed nitrogen oxide emissions of 5 parts per million without after-treatment. The combustion turbine exhaust is ducted through a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) that produces14,500 pounds/hour of steam without supplemental firing. The HRSG has duct burners that will be able to provide up to 30,000 pounds/hour of steam at a nominal 98 percent thermal efficiency.

Shands Cancer Center has a goal of obtaining Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification for the hospital. The energy efficiency of the CHP system allowed the cancer hospital to earn 8 of the 10 points available in the LEED Energy and Atmosphere category.

The chilled water system consists of two 1,500-ton electrical centrifugal chillers and one 1,200-ton steam turbine centrifugal chiller. The steam turbine centrifugal chiller utilizes the steam produced by the combustion turbine exhaust and HRSG to provide improved thermal efficiency during peak cooling periods, increased redundancy and operational flexibility. The chilled water distribution system utilizes variable primary pumping with a 42 degrees Fahrenheit delivery temperature and a return temperature of 58 degrees.

The GRU South Energy Center incorporates hurricane-resistant design and meets the planned expansion of the Shands Cancer Center campus. This includes providing electrical power, chilled water, steam and medical gases for a final build-out of approximately 3 million square feet or the equivalent of 25 MW of on-site electric power, 16,000 tons of chilled water, and 4,000 boiler horsepower of steam.

The final construction cost of the GRU South Energy Center was $45 million. The University of Florida Shands Cancer Center opened for patient care on Nov. 1, 2009.