UCSD-Cogen-6 thumbnail
UCSD-Cogen-CUP thumbnail

La Jolla, CA

Project Size / Type
30MW Combined Cycle Cogeneration


Emcor Energy Services
Prime Engineer

University Mechanical
Prime Mechanical Contractor

Electrical Contractor

University of San Diego - Cogeneration

Project Overview

Michael Wall Engineering provided electrical engineering services for this 30MW combined cycle cogeneration plant at University of California San Diego. The project was delivered design/build and included construction of a new 15,000SF Cogeneration Building at the Campus Central Utilities Plant. The plant consists of two 15MW Solar Titan gas-fired turbine generators operating at 12470V 3-phase 3-wire wye. The approximate cost of the project was $30 million. The 30 MW plant provided 100% of the UCSD Campus Peak Demand Load at the time of construction.

Michael Wall Engineering, Inc.’s design included SDG&E interconnection (Rule 21) and extensive integration with the existing campus 12kV distribution system. We provided detailed control logic and the sequence of operations for the programming of the paralleling switchgear. Phased demolition/construction sequences were provided in order to keep the critical Central Utilities Plant functions in operation at all times during construction. Relay protection and controls were integrated with the existing 3.0MW diesel engine generation emergency power system, also designed by Michael Wall, such that the diesel power system could be paralleled with the turbine powered cogeneration plant.

Accurate conceptual engineering was required in order to pre-order the paralleling switchgear, substations, and distribution equipment on a fast-track basis within the construction schedule. Detailed coordination with San Diego Gas & Electrical was performed such that the 69kV primary service to UCSD was properly protected and coordinated with the utility system. A campus-wide Short Circuit & Coordination Study was completed and included the contribution from the two (2) 15MW generators. High-speed fiber optic communication systems were used to transmit control data over the 1.5 mile separation between the utility interface and the paralleling switchgear.