The Central Heating Plant, or CHP, supplies steam for hot water and space heating during the academic year. The CHP houses five steam boilers, each of which is rated at 25,000 pounds of steam per hour. Three of the boilers are "Riley" boilers which were installed in 1946, two of which can operate on either Natural Gas or # 6 oil. There are also 2 Union Ironworks boilers which were manufactured 1946. Both of these can also burn either Natural Gas or #6 oil. The dual fuel capability give the plant great flexibility and increased efficiencies.
To make this steam the plant burns about 600,000 gallons of #6 oil and about 50,000,000 cubic feet of natural gas per year. This is comparable to heating 1,050 average homes for a year. In addition, the plant also generates about 700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year with a turbine generator set that was installed in 1986. The electricity is generated from the same steam used to heat the buildings using a method called "co-generation" with very little loss of heating efficiency. This co-generation technique saves the college about $32,000 a year.
CHP operates 24 hours a day during the academic year and is shut down for the summer months when scheduled maintenance is done.