One Penn Plaza

New York, NY
Key Facts
Client Type: Commercial
Technology: CHP
Geography: East Coast

– GI Energy led the design and construction of a 6.0 MW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system that removes 20—25 million kWh per year from the city’s power grid, and supplies 50% of the electricity and 30% of the steam requirements to the building.

– This new system offsets approx. 16,000 MWh electricity per year. This project received $2.8 million incentive support from NYSERDA and was completed in 2010.

– The CHP system both reduces the building’s carbon footprint and reduces the building’s independence on purchased utilities.

One Penn Plaza
Executive Summary:

One Penn Plaza, one of the 10 largest commercial buildings in New York City, is a LEED-EB certified, 2.5 million square foot, 57-story building located above Pennsylvania Station, within one of the most constrained electrical grid systems in the US.


The goal was to build a state-of-the-art CHP system consisting of three 2.055 kWe reciprocating engines and three Heat Recovery Steam Generators (HRSGs), all housed in a sound-attenuated enclosure.

How Our Services Helped:

The GIE team tied the generators into the main building’s electrical services. Waste heat from the engines were then processed through the HRSGs to produce high pressure steam, which is then used to offset the building’s steam load. The steam load is used in summer months to cool the building with steam turbine chillers and in the winter months to preheat domestic water and condition the temperature of secondary water.

ROI & Future Plans:

One Penn Plaza’s CHP system is the 1st synchronous electrical interconnection in the Con Edison service territory to rely on customer-side network protection. The CHP system achieves a combined efficiency of over 70%, double the efficiency of grid-supplied conventional power, resulting in a 40% reduction in the building’s electricity usage & carbon intensity. Additionally, the system has the ability to provide back-up power to tenants in the event of grid failure.