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Middle Tennessee State University
Cogeneration Plant
Murfreesboro, TN

MTSU is home to a new, fully automated cogeneration facility which consists of a combined cycle gas turbine system producing two sources of energy for the campus: electrical power and steam through the combustion of clean burning, efficient, natural gas.

Hot exhaust gases from the turbine pass through a heat recovery steam generator (HRSG) to produce steam. Steam output from the HRSG is supplemented, as necessary, to meet the total campus load by the combustion of additional natural gas in a second burner upstream of the HRSG. The combined cycle system is capable of producing approximately 50 percent of the campus electrical demand and all of the campus steam load.

The 12.47 kV switchgear in this project is used to complete the campus' underground loop and for distributing power from the new 5,000 kW generator to the powerhouse, chilling plant and campus. It is an indoor metal-enclosed switchgear with vacuum circuit breakers that have Feeder Management Relays on the main and feeder breakers. These relays provide many protective, monitoring, and control functions to the switchgear breakers.

The new generator is tied into the switchgear through a 4.16 kV - 12.47 kV step-up transformer and is paralleled with the utility by a synchronizing relay. The generator also has "black start" capability which allows it to run and distribute power through the switchgear without the utility service. 


  • Natural gas fired turbine producing continuous electrical power
  • Campus steam distribution upgraded with 1,700 feet of 12-inch, 6-inch, and 4-inch underground steam piping