Plans for Proposed CHP Plant on Duke’s Campus to be Discussed at Oct. 25 Forum

October 20, 2016

Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084 or

DURHAM, N.C. – The Nicholas School of the Environment is co-sponsoring a public forum at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, in Gross Hall Atrium to discuss plans for a combined heat and power (CHP) plant that Duke University and Duke Energy have proposed building on the university’s campus.

A panel, including university administrators, facilities management officials, faculty members and students, will lead an open conversation intended to address questions that have been raised about the plant, its projected benefits and environmental impacts, and the decision-making process behind the proposal.

All faculty, staff and students and encouraged to attend the forum and to submit questions and concerns in advance to be addressed by the panel. Send these to by October 24.

The proposed facility will be a 21 megawatt CHP natural gas plant, located on Duke’s West Campus. It will generate electricity for North Carolina’s grid, as well as 85,000 pounds per hour of steam and hot water for Duke University and Duke Medical Center. It will cost $55 million, occupy one acre of land, and be owned by Duke Energy.

The announcement of the proposed plant in May has prompted discussion among faculty and students, as well as throughout the community, about the net climate benefits of the plant, the inclusiveness of the decision-making process, and the plant’s implications for Duke’s image as a climate leader. 

The Oct. 25 forum is intended to answer questions campus stakeholders may have about the plant in five key areas: how the plant fits into the university’s Climate Action Plan; financial aspects of the plant; the handling of communications about it; why natural gas was selected as the power source; and what the environmental impacts of the plant might be.  

The Duke University Energy Initiative and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions are joining the Nicholas School in sponsoring the Oct. 25 forum.  Sponsorship of the forum does not represent an endorsement of, or a position on, the proposed plant. 

You can learn more about the plant and the forum here.