Procurement, Operation, and Maintenance
Successfully installing a CHP system is a complex task that requires skill and knowledge in a wide range of disciplines including engineering, construction, plumbing, wiring, and environmental compliance. For this reason, it is wise to partner with contractor or project developer who has experience with CHP systems. It is likely that the engineering firm that assisted with your Investment-grade Analysis will be able to provide names of some qualified firms. If not, you can Contact Us for ideas.
The process of interconnecting to the grid varies from state from state (and sometimes from utility to utility). States and utilities want to ensure that the system is safely and reliably connected to the system so as to not cause damage to utility lines or personnel. Some states, though are improving and standardizing the process to make it easier for clean energy. In general, smaller or less complicated systems can receive a "fast track" approval from the utility, requiring a few days’ to a few weeks’ time, while larger or more complicated systems require longer studies before being connected.
Operations and Maintenance
If you choose to use your own personnel, staffing levels and training should be investigated. Larger systems are likely to require additional staffing to run them and all systems will require operator training. Time should be budgeted to cover hiring and training of operations staff. Maintenance of CHP systems can be very complex and require special skills. It is likely that all but the largest and most sophisticated of end users will have the personnel to provide anything but the basic maintenance required. Contractors will be needed for periodic maintenance and particularly for overhauls. Additionally these same maintenance contractors can be retained to provide all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, thus reducing the demands on operational staff.
If you already have a system up and running, the U.S. Intermountain Clean Energy Application Center may be able to help to analyze its operation and suggest improvements.