MCA conference 2023

The Midwest Cogeneration Association

Sept. 11-13, 2023.

Holiday Inn, Wolf Point, Downtown Chicago, IL 60654.

About the Event

Driving Decarbonization, Resiliency, and Economic Solutions.

The theme of this year’s conference focused on the concepts and technologies of CHP driving decarbonization, resiliency, and economic solutions and these themes were highlighted throughout the conference. Our keynote presenter emphasized the role that CHP could help support the future energy transition by being safe, reliable, and affordable. The significant opportunity that the federal investment tax credit could play was of significant interest, but the timeliness of acting now is even of more critical importance. 

The conference ended with the concept of not only “educating” on the concepts, benefits, and opportunities of CHP, but elevating that concept to “engaging”. Our MCA association and CHP industry is looking forward to increasing our engagement in the future to help move the CHP market to provide future economic, resilient, and decarbonization solutions.

Event Schedule

This wasn’t just another day-long session repeating the things we know. We designed and framed it well, so every minute introduces a new concept and a different point of view to adopt. Detailed Agenda.

Day 1

½ Day Workshop sponsored by US DOE Midwest CHP TAP and Evening Welcome Reception.

Day 2

Full Day Conference, Post Conference Networking Reception, and Evening Chicago River Boat Tour & Networking Event.

Day 3

Technical Tour – MWRD Stickney Water Reclamation Plant

The Speakers

Our speakers’ bench includes well-established and successful Individuals and Corporations known to rule the industry for years.

Doug Scott (keynote speaker)

Chair, Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC).

Meegan Kelly

Technology Manager, U.S. Department of Energy | Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Industrial Efficiency & Decarbonization Office.

Jeremy Demuth

Managing Director, Deloitte Tax LLP.

Cliff Haefke

President, Midwest Cogeneration Association (MCA)

Joe Ricchiuto

Technical Manager, Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance

Justin Rathke

President and Founder, Vergent Power Solutions Inc.

Alex Marshall

Group Director, Clarke Energy 

Thomas Smith

Director (Energy Development), Caterpillar Inc. 

Graeme Miller

Sr. Research Specialist (Distributed Generation), Energy Resources Center at UIC.

Bruce Headman

Entropy Research LLC.

Daniel Robb

Engineering Supervisor, Frontier Energy Inc.

Chris Townsend

CJT Energy Law LLC.

Kevin O'Connell

Michigan CAT

Allen Dusault

Franklin Energy

Thomas Tyler

Ameren Illinois Energy Efficiency Program.

James Lidel

DTE Energy

2023 Midwest Inspiring CHP Awards

These CHP projects were awarded for inspiring innovation, sustainability, and efficiency in energy generation. Below are brief descriptions of each awarded project. 

Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District

Mark Eddington was the first to accept the 2023 Midwest Inspiring CHP Award on behalf of Kishwaukee Water Reclamation District (KWRD). The District treats approximately 5 million gallons of wastewater daily serving 45,000 customers in the DeKalb area. In 2013 KWRD implemented their Hauled Waste Receiving program utilizing restaurant grease and food waste to increase its biogas production. Today, they operate a CHP system with two 375 kW Nissen engine generator units fueled entirely by biogas. Additionally, the District generates $1 million in biogas revenue. Their sustainability and resiliency initiatives have allowed KWRD to meet its entire electric demand independent of the grid. The recovered heat from the CHP system is used to provide hot water for heating their digesters and the electrical building.

University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati was recognized for their 47 MW CHP system that has operated for the last 19 years! Sid Thatham accepted the 2023 Midwest Inspiring CHP Award on behalf of the University for their two 12.5 MW Solar combustion turbines and Dresser-Rand 22 MW steam turbine installed in 2004. Throughout the system’s lifetime the University has saved $104 million which has helped the institution keep tuition costs from increasing. This system reduces CO2 emissions by 90,000 metric tons annually. As the system operates, it provides electricity and high pressure steam to 100+ campus buildings and 6 area hospitals totaling 14+ million square feet!

Saint Cloud Nutrient Energy & Water Recovery Facility

Jacob Ethan and Brad Anderson accepted the 2023 Midwest Inspiring CHP Award on behalf of Saint Cloud Nutrient Energy and Water Recovery Facility for their 1.26 MW CHP system. The system consists of two Jenbacher 633 kW CHP internal combustion engines; the first engine has been in operation since 2017 and the second since 2020. The site utilizes biogas processed onsite using municipal wastewater and high strength waste in their anaerobic digesters. By 2021, they had achieved net zero energy by generating more onsite renewable energy than their total consumption on an annual basis! Through reduced natural gas consumption and onsite electrical generation, the plant removes an equivalent of over 8.5 million pounds of CO2 annually from the atmosphere.

Multifamily Residential Building

Combined heat and power is not only an energy solution for large plants and campuses. A micro-CHP application was awarded for a 32-unit multifamily residential building in South Milwaukee. The 4.4 kW micro-CHP system began operation in January 2022 and reaches greater than 90% efficiency! The system reduces electrical grid reliance and reduces carbon emissions. Moreover, the micro-CHP uses recovered heat for all domestic hot water needs replacing the previous 210,000 gallon boiler. This system provides the building owner Mikko Erkamma with $6,400 in savings per year. James Green from Axiom Energy Group was in attendance to accept the 2023 Midwest Inspiring CHP Award for this project.

Danville Sanitary District

The most recent application of CHP awarded at the conference was to Danville Sanitary District (DSD) for their system installed in July 2023. The system utilizes a 190 kW Nissen CHP unit fueled by biogas. At this wastewater treatment plant, their CHP system operates at 82% efficiency which generates 1.3 million kWh of electricity and offsets approximately 23% of the total electricity. Moreover, the plant uses 52% less natural gas. The system is estimated to save $93,000 per year on electricity costs and $29,000 per year in gas costs. Danville Sanitary District worked alongside Ameren Illinois, an electric and natural gas utility, to utilize energy efficiency incentives. David Schnelle of DSD and Babette Washington representing Ameren Illinois accepted the 2023 Midwest Inspiring CHP Award on behalf of this project. While saving on energy costs, the District is improving energy efficiency, lowering CO2 emissions, and implementing resource recovery.

Our Sponsors

It is not possible to host a conference without our helping hands. We have several sponsors to attribute who help us make things happen.

Platinum Sponsors

Silver Sponsors

Bronze Sponsors

Promotional Sponsors