Earth Day 2024: Vicinity Energy’s climate progress

Each year, on April 22nd, and throughout the month of April, millions of people around the world get involved in their communities and spread awareness for the environmental movement and the fight against climate change.

In honor of Earth Day, our teams championed our commitment to sustainability by participating in clean-ups and community events in the areas we serve. Our commitment doesn’t end there: we’re proud to say our teams work to better our communities year-round.

Our progress to net zero carbon emissions

This year, our team has made significant progress in our commitment to sustainability and decarbonization. To achieve net zero carbon emissions across our operations, we are making critical changes at our central facilities in Boston and Cambridge, with our other systems in cities across the country to follow.

These sustainable upgrades will enable us to serve our customers with eSteam™, our renewable thermal energy product. eSteam is designed to rapidly decarbonize the highest source of emissions in major cities: commercial buildings.

To begin offering eSteam™, we are installing electric boilers, industrial-scale heat pumps, and thermal storage at our central facilities. This year, these plans have been set in motion with critical electrification upgrades. 

Critical electrification updates

Vicinity started off Earth Month strong with the installation of our new, 42MW electric boiler at our Kendall facility in Cambridge. Our team has been working tirelessly to get this advanced technology up and running, and after months of preparation and coordination, it was finally installed. The boiler will soon deliver carbon-free eSteam™ to our customers.

This first electric asset will enter service in the summer of 2024, when we will procure electricity from renewable, carbon-free energy sources such as wind, solar, and hydro to generate eSteam™. We will purchase this wholesale carbon-free power from the grid, import the power to our facility through a co-located electric substation, and use it to create steam with the electric boiler.

Our teams are also actively engineering the low-temperature source heat pump system that will be employed in conjunction with the electric boiler at our Kendall facility.

We are installing this industrial-scale heat pump complex at our Kendall facility in 2026. Rather than utilize natural gas, the system will allow us to extract energy from the Charles River and use it to preheat water for our new electric boiler, improving the overall efficiency of the system. From there, the water will be returned to the Charles River at a lower temperature so as to not damage the river’s ecosystems.

Over the next few years, our other district energy systems in Philadelphia and Grand Rapids, for example, will employ similar technologies to achieve net zero carbon emissions and offer eSteam™ to our customers. These locations are currently procuring electric boilers to be installed in the next year or two.

Vicinity Energy teams commemorate Earth Day

This year, Vicinity’s teams around the country took action to improve the environment and spread awareness of the environmental movement throughout Earth Month, leading up to Earth Day on April 22nd.

From cleaning up our local parks and rivers, to supporting community efforts, our employees took action this year to better the communities we serve for all.



Schuylkill River Trail clean-up


park clean-up photo

In Philadelphia, our team participated in a clean-up at the Schuylkill River Trail. The Schuylkill River runs alongside our Grays Ferry facility in Philadelphia, and year-round we take initiative to improve the river’s environment. Our teams came together to pick up trash along the trail in partnership with the Schuylkill River Development Corporation and PECO.

Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education tree planting


tree planting in a park

Vicinity’s Philadelphia team also donated trees to the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (SCEE) in honor or Arbor Day and Earth Month. The Nature Preschool classes at SCEE took initiative and planted the trees!



Boston and Cambridge

Speak for the Trees Boston



This year, our Boston team partnered with Speak for Trees Boston to host a teach-in session in which we learned about Speak for the Trees mission, the ins and outs of their Care for Street Trees Program, the importance of caring for the urban canopy, and the impacts of the heat island effect in cities like Boston and Cambridge. After the class, our team went on a walk through our neighborhood to identify the trees we can help care for in our area.




Oklahoma City

Oklahoma River clean-up


co-workers standing together outside by a river

The Vicinity team in Oklahoma City participated in a river clean-up with OG+E. The team picked up trash along the riverbank of the Oklahoma River in downtown OKC. The event was a collaborative effort among multiple local businesses, and approximately 70 people participated in the clean-up efforts.




UMBC Community Day


coworkers standing outside at table

Our Baltimore team participated in the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Community Day event. The event showcases groundbreaking research conducted at UMBC and its significant impact on the Baltimore community. The team talked with attendees about what electrification upgrades Vicinity Energy is making at its Baltimore facility. 

Interested in joining the team? Browse our open roles today.