The Connection has received $372,000 in bond funding from the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS). These funds will be used to purchase a 20 KW cogeneration (cogen) plant for the 48 Howe Street property in New Haven. The 90,000 square foot New Haven landmark, built in 1929 by the YWCA of New Haven, houses a number of Connection programs, including Roger Sherman House, SIERRA Pre-Trial, SIERRA Center, Recovery House, The Connection Lodge, The Connection’s Intervention and Prevention Programs, The Connection Counseling Center, and Elm City Women and Children’s Center.
“The cogen plant will give us the ability to make electricity for the entire building,” says Facilities Director Lou Rogowski. “We will be doing what the utility company does—taking natural gas and converting it to a power source that produces electricity.”
The project includes installation of a 200 KW stand-by generator that will provide electricity needs for the entire facility in the event of grid failure. Should such a disaster occur, it will be possible to relocate clients from other Connection programs to the Howe Street property. The cogen system will also provide enough hot water to serve bathing and laundry needs for the entire building. Water is used to cool the cogen engine and the resulting hot water byproduct will meet all of the building’s hot water needs at no cost. Annual energy savings are projected to be 15 to 20 percent per year.
“We are grateful to DMHAS for awarding these bond funds to The Connection,” said President and CEO Peter Nucci. “This project takes us one step closer to our goal of obtaining LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification for this landmark building.”