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    New Jersey could soon see a surge of interest in cogeneration in the state, according to NJSpotlight.

    Cogeneration, the process of producing electricity along with heat, has drawn many proponents as a more efficient use of resources and a cost-effective means of reducing fossil fuel consumption.

    Most power plants function by heating up a fluid, usually water, to turn a turbine that than creates electricity, but these heated fluids are then wasted either by allowing them to cool for reuse or venting them from the plant. Cogeneration would instead circulate the hot water as a means of heating buildings.

    Now the New Jersey Office of Clean Energy has suggested allocating $55 million that utility companies could use for the development of combined heat and power plants. The move goes in line with Governor Chris Christie’s Energy Master Plan, which calls for 1,500 megawatts of combined heat and power generation capacity.

    This comes only weeks after the state Department of Environmental Protection announced a simpler and easier permitting process for cogeneration plants, according to NJSpotlight. The plants will still need to meet strict air quality standards, but overall they should prove simpler to develop.