Cordova Looks at an Innovative Heating Loop

Cordova Looks at an Innovative Heating Loop

Electric generation is often the main focus of using local hydro resources in a community. Cordova is looking to use its renewable energy source to create an innovative heating loop through a new collaborative project with ACEP and other partners.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that Cordova Electric Cooperative was one of six awardees nationwide to receive a total of $10 million in funding from the Advanced Manufacturing Office to drive adoption of clean energy technologies. The CEC project will receive $2.99 million in federal funding.

ACEP, a long-standing partner of CEC, supported the proposal submission and will partner to execute the project, with associate professor Daisy Huang as the project’s principal investigator. Other partners include the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Clemson University.

The project proposes a unique district heating strategy for Cordova that is coupled with and powered by local renewable sources, including optimized hydropower and solar photovoltaic-based generation. Project goals include optimized resilience of community heating, increased overall energy efficiency and a reduction in dependence on oil.

A unique control system will be designed and verified by hardware-in-the-loop to co-optimize renewable generation and heating needs of the district. Solar, hydropower and battery storage will be harnessed and optimized for maximizing renewable power for heating. This project will help maximize overall energy efficiency, reduce emissions and bolster manufacturing competitiveness. Commercial partners on the project will help develop the novel controls, design the project and spur manufacturing of such technologies.

"The CEC Board and staff are excited to start a new project that will enable a holistic optimization of our energy resilience strategy, expanding our internal automated optimization of excess renewables and waste heat from our diesel plant to our commercial customers by researching and executing strategic district heating in the community," said Cordova Electric Cooperative chief executive officer, Clay Koplin.

For more information on this project, please contact Daisy Huang at


Power Creek run of river hydro is one of two hydro resources in Cordova. Photo by Amanda Byrd.