Cogeneration, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), is a highly efficient process that generates electricity and heat simultaneously. By utilizing the exhaust energy from gas turbines, useful steam can be generated in a heat exchanger which can then be used in any number of applications, all with no additional fuel consumption. As a result, the overall efficiency of CHP systems can exceed 80%, making CHP one of the most energy-efficient methods of power generation. With the broadest gas turbine product portfolio in the industry,  GE is uniquely positioned to provide its customers with the right products to provide the required ratio of power to heat for their CHP systems.  For more information on combined heat and power applications, view our webinar here

The benefits of cogeneration

By using one fuel source to produce both heat and electricity simultaneously, cogeneration – or combined heat and power - is significantly more efficient and cost effective than traditional power generation. Why? With traditional power generation, electricity and thermal energy are produced separately using two different processes and fuel sources—conventional fossil fuels are used to generate the electricity and, in most cases, the heat produced as a byproduct to this process is lost to the atmosphere.  Then an on-site boiler or furnace is used to generate heat. 

Cogeneration solutions use a single fuel in a combustion engine, like a gas turbine, to generate electricity.  The heat that is created as a result of the process is captured and recycled to provide hot water or steam for other uses—like heating or cooling for the facility. In addition to eliminating waste and increasing energy production efficiency, cogeneration solutions have many advantages.

Advantages of Cogeneration:

  • Save money - Achieve up to 95% percent total efficiency, burn less fuel for the energy you need, and reduce thermal and electrical costs creating a payback in as little as 2 years.
  • Save energy - Realize energy savings of up to 40% using the energy from your turbine’s waste heat.
  • Increase predictability – Predict against grid power price volatility and supply uncertainty for more accurate financial planning.
  • Increase reliability - Achieve 98% reliability or more with the proven technology of GE’s aeroderivative gas turbines.
  • Energy reform benefits - Benefit from government energy reforms and associated incentives (green certificates and “efficient cogeneration“) promoting self power generation.
  • Reduce emissions - With combined heat and power, you can make sure you’re meeting government regulations by reducing your greenhouse gas emissions by up to 30%.


What's the Process Behind Cogeneration Power Solutions?

GE has the experience and expertise to help you build an integrated power generation package.  Our process can include:


Analysis to identify the onsite power generation strategy that deliver enhanced efficiency and cost savings.


Detailed cogeneration engineering and equipment, as well as CHP equipment sourcing and cost-benefits analysis.


Complete project management including delivery and installation of equipment and coordination with local utilities.


Design maintenance schedule to protect and secure onsite energy system.


A variety of financing solutions for the cost of CHP, that don’t require upfront investment for onsite equipment.


District Heating

District heating power plants employ cogeneration systems to provide both electricity and heating for local facilities and homes. The exhaust energy of the gas turbines is used to generate steam which is then distributed to the consumers for use in heating. District heating plants can range from large, centralized generating facilities for high population areas to smaller facilities that serve more remote locations. Because the demand for steam varies seasonally, customers looking to build a district heating facility are looking for the lowest lifecycle cost of electricity and steam over a wide range of operating conditions with varying power to heat ratios.



Desalination power plants use combined heat and power to generate electricity and provide thermal energy in the form of steam for use in the operation of distillation equipment to produce fresh water from seawater. These are typically utility-scale power plants where both the electrical and thermal energy are fairly stable throughout the year. Therefore, customers developing desalination power plants seek power generation solutions that meet a specific power-to-heat ratio required to meet demand and deliver the lowest cost of electricity and steam.


Power, Heating and Cooling

Combined cooling, heat, and power (CCHP) systems—also called trigeneration systems—are the combination of cogeneration plants and absorption chillers. GE's aeroderivative gas turbines offer an excellent solution for generating air conditioning and/or refrigeration. Cogeneration equipment, such as the single-rotor, two-stage, high-pressure gas turbine paired with a six-stage power turbine, offers high efficiency and low emissions. Absorption chillers provide an economic and environmental alternative to conventional refrigeration with compression chillers. Combining those two elements enables excellent total fuel efficiency, elimination of HCFC/CFC refrigerants, and reduced overall air emissions.

Learn More about CHP Applications by Contacting GE Power Today 

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