Planet

When the City of Cambridge experienced a massive power outage that left thousands in the dark, one biotechnology company managed to keep the lights on and stay operational. Due to its efficient combined heat and power (CHP) plant, this global company is able to rely on 24/7 electricity and thermal energy for the research and development of medicines used in treating serious and rare diseases.

In the beginning of the 20th century, scientists revolutionized the way human diseases were treated using biopharmaceutical medicines – Illnesses such as tuberculosis, diphtheria, and pneumonia could be treated and cured for the first time in history. Fast forward to today and the biotechnology industry continues to make great strides, developing new medicines to treat a variety of conditions and illnesses, from cancers to neurological disorders. However, none of this innovation would be possible without the modern technology that helps keep the lights on and the equipment running.

one biotechnology company managed to keep the lights on and stay operational.

The development of biologic medications requires high volumes of process steam and electricity, as well as precise environmental controls for temperature, humidity, pressure and air quality. Any disruption to these processes could severely impact the production of these vital medications, in addition to incurring millions in losses. Using advanced technology, such as CHP, many medical R&D companies rely on this simultaneous production of electricity and thermal energy in support of their research and manufacturing activities.

When the lives and well-being of millions of people are at stake, having a reliable energy source for medical research and development is not an option – it’s a requirement.

For one global biotechnology company in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the use of CHP technology proved to be indispensable in November 2012. When a transmission line failure knocked out utility-supplied power in the City of Cambridge for over 2 hours, the electricity and process steam continued uninterrupted at the campus of this biotechnology firm. As operator of the CHP plant, Veolia ensured optimum power and thermal energy reliability throughout the duration of the unexpected black-out, helping to protect invaluable research and medicines.

When the lives and well-being of millions of people are at stake, having a reliable energy source for medical research and development is not an option – it’s a requirement. With a back-up steam line connection to Veolia’s Boston-Cambridge district system for added resilience; this CHP-driven microgrid is meeting this biotechnology firm’s critical 24/7 energy needs, in addition to reducing its annual energy consumption by 25 percent.

Download this 2-page fact sheet to learn more about the basics of CHP and its green benefits.

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