A new power source will soon keep the Dublin Community Recreation Center running.

A new power source will soon keep the Dublin Community Recreation Center running.

Dublin City Council members last week approved a contract with IGS Energy and Hull Associates for combined heat and power service at the recreation center.

"They'll use the Dublin recreation center as a demonstration site for future potential clients," said Michelle Crandall, Dublin assistant city manager.

"It's a system that provides heat and energy from one fuel source," Crandall said.

"Our site will be natural gas."

Natural gas will provide 60 percent of the power to the recreation center with a combined heat and power system for the next 15 years, per the lease approved by council last week.

"A major benefit of this technology will be the ability to utilize 'waste' heat from the engine to assist in providing the hot water needed to heat much of the DCRC in the winter and the pools year round," the staff report to council stated.

"Additionally, the boilers will not need to run as long, which will result in an undetermined savings on natural gas costs."

Crandall said the move would also allow Dublin to delay the purchase of a new boiler, saving about $70,000.

"(In) the first five years the cost savings is $20,000," she said of the new power source.

The city currently pays about 8.4 cents per kilowatt hour and will pay about 8.3 cents per kilowatt hour over the first five years of the lease.

"However, these savings are expected to grow over time due to the fact that the lease rate is frozen for five years, while electricity rates will likely increase," the staff memo to council states.

The leased equipment for the new power source will be installed with other recreation center machinery, Crandall said, and will be maintained by IGS Energy and Hull Associates.

Although the combined heat and power system will provide more than half of the recreation center's power, it will still be hooked up to the main electricity grid.

If the electricity goes out, the new power source will be able to keep things running, Crandall said.

If the new system has problems, electricity can fill in.

Crandall said the system that has an efficiency of 90 percent and reduced emissions will be the first in central Ohio.

"It looks like an exciting opportunity and I'm happy to see we're involved with it," Councilman Tim Lecklider said.