Foxwoods Resort Casino, Combined Heat and Power Plant, Mashantucket, CT

When the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, owners of Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Fox Tower at Foxwoods, pursued their clean energy initiative program while simultaneously reducing operational costs and increasing energy efficiency, they contracted Syska Hennessy Group to guide them through the economic analysis for, and subsequent design of, a 15-MW combined heat and power (CHP) system to be located on the existing boiler-plant floor of the Grand Pequot Tower.

We performed a 20-year life-cycle cost analysis of numerous different potential system configurations. Our findings concluded that a CHP system featuring two 7.5-MW gas turbines with heat recovery and supplementary firing was the most economical solution, providing nearly $8 million in annual energy cost savings. Despite these promising savings, the client was reluctant to proceed with the project at the time of the initial analysis. To advance the project, our engineers served as business partners and were instrumental in securing over $6 million in capital grant funding for the CHP system, enabling the project to advance into the design and construction phase.

A significant roadblock arose when the local gas distribution company could not fulfill its commitment of a new high-pressure natural gas line at zero cost to the project. So we quickly designed a natural gas compression station to elevate the incoming gas pressure to the required level for the turbines.

The building structural steel had to be significantly reinforced to accommodate the loading of the new turbines located above grade. Syska also conducted a vibration analysis to ensure that the rotating CHP equipment would not impose undue vibration on the restaurants or gaming floors above.

The 15-MW cogeneration system’s electrical output needed to be interconnected to two different utility feeders at two geographically remote points on the sprawling campus, requiring a significant amount of new underground duct-bank installation for power and controls. Although the project installation was more demanding than expected, the client benefited from a substantial reduction in operating costs, and the area’s utility customers received reduced utility rates.

The implementation of our design resulted in a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. The performance of the CHP system has only exceeded economic expectations, due in large part to the substantial decrease in natural gas prices. The project recovered the nearly $36 million installation costs in just over three years, and currently contributes a large positive revenue stream for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and will do so for the foreseeable future.

4,700,000 sf

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal National

The Winthrop Group

General Contractor
Frank Zaino & Associates, Inc.

Energy services
Feasibility study
Cogeneration economic analysis
Cogeneration design
Heat recovery steam generator
Instrumentation and controls
Gas turbines