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Cogenerated ‘green steam’ is driving efficiencies and reliability, while reducing carbon footprint

Vicinity Energy owns and operates combined heat and power (CHP) systems that generate low-carbon ‘green steam’ energy across the United States. In both its Philadelphia and Boston-Cambridge energy districts, CHP is supplying reliable and sustainable ‘green steam’ to renowned universities, medical research institutions, hospitals, hotels, commercial offices, government buildings, and residential apartments and condominiums.

Scope

In the U.S., Vicinity operates and maintains more than 400 megawatts (MW) of efficient CHP capacity, with its two largest cogeneration systems supplying the Philadelphia and Boston-Cambridge districts. In addition to its long-standing experience in the development and operation of central utility plants and CHP systems, Vicinity is financially backed by Antin Infrastructure Partners, a global infrastructure fund – offering our customers both energy expertise and capital solutions to meet their specific energy challenges.

Challenge

Conventional power plants waste two-thirds of the fuel energy they consume by discarding this waste heat into cooling towers, rivers or oceans. However, through the use of CHP, this thermal energy is re-captured in Vicinity’s Philadelphia and Boston- Cambridge district systems and put to good use – increasing energy reliability and reducing the carbon footprint in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic United States.

Solution

‘Green steam’ refers to Vicinity’s low carbon thermal product, which in large
part comes from a CHP process. CHP involves the production of electricity while simultaneously capturing waste heat that would otherwise be lost under conventional means. This process results in the most efficient use of natural gas to produce electricity and condition buildings.

Vicinity operates our own CHP systems which supply our districts, in addition to operating individual customer CHP systems. In many cases, the integration of a customer’s CHP system with our district system provides both an optimal energy and financial solution. Not only does this integration provide back-up energy and redundancies to the customer, but it also offers our customers the ability to sell their excess thermal load to Vicinity during their off-peak demand.

Results

With experience in owning and operating CHP plants ranging in capacity from 0.5 MW to 256 MW, Vicinity is well-positioned to operate and maintain CHP facilities of all sizes. Through the use of CHP, Vicinity is heating and cooling the cities of Philadelphia, Boston and Cambridge with recovered energy – reducing carbon footprint and improving energy reliability in these communities.