About the Project
University of Texas Medical Branch’s Galveston Campus sustained heavy damage during Hurricane Ike in 2008. The renovated campus design required an additional central utility plant, other than the renovated West and Central Plants, to efficiently sustain the campus’s updated energy load. UTMB’s East Plant is a 65,700 square-foot facility that provides redundant heating and hot water systems for the campus. The first floor of the East Plant’s design is over 25 feet above sea level to provide clearance for traffic below. Installation of a Gas & Steam Turbine engine will facilitate power to operate the facility and includes a heat recovery steam generator and a 1 Megawatt BLACKSTART generator, which will allow for the emergency start of every system in the building during a power outage. Water is provided through a thermal energy tank located adjacent to the building with storage capacity of just over 2mm gallons. The tank will provide a 3-day backup source of evaporation make-up water for the thermal utility generation equipment and shift electrical demand to off peak hours to reduce the strain on the electric grid.