Consulting Engineering

MGM National Harbor CHP Plant

MGM Resorts InternationalOxon Hill, Maryland

Following the preparation of a financial and technical feasibility study, CMTA provided complete design services for a combined heat and power (CHP) plant for the 1 million square foot MGM National Harbor Resort. In a process known as cogeneration, this CHP plant provides chilled and heated water from the waste heat produced by a natural gas generator. It features 800 kW of electrical capacity, with reclaimed heat used for comfort heating and domestic hot water generation, as well as chilled water cooling.  

This system significantly reduces the resort’s greenhouse gas emissions and environmental footprint when compared to other types of HVAC systems, an energy cost reduction of more than 30 percent. By creating its own energy, MGM National Harbor improves reliability, minimizes energy losses in transmission and reduces demand on the local energy grid.  

During its development and construction, the MGM National Harbor resort was the largest project in the Washington, DC area. This $1.4 billion waterfront resort destination features an 18-story hotel, 16,200 square foot grand ballroom, 3,000-seat theater, 18,000 square feet of high-end retail, and a 125,000 square foot casino. This massive development encompasses over one million square feet on 23 acres. The CHP plant was carefully integrated into the architectural design, resulting in a system that is almost completely hidden from view.    

The CHP plant was an important component of MGM National Harbor’s LEED Gold certification. Other sustainable features include rainwater harvesting through a 700,000-gallon cistern, water conserving fixtures, LED high-efficiency lighting, and 15,000 tons of construction waste diversion from landfills.  

This project received CHP incentive funding through EmPower Maryland, a program managed by the Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO). It is one of the largest privately-operated CHP energy plants in the Washington D.C. region.