Vicinity Energy Announces Bill DiCroce’s Passing of the Baton to Kevin Hagerty as the New CEO

Boston, MA, July 10, 2024—Vicinity Energy, a leading provider of sustainable energy solutions, is pleased to announce the appointment of Kevin Hagerty as the company’s new chief executive officer and president. Bill DiCroce has led Vicinity and its predecessors as CEO and president since 2012 and will stay on as executive chairman of Vicinity’s Board of Directors.

Bill DiCroce’s long tenure as CEO and president has been marked by significant accomplishments, shaping the district energy portfolio and driving transformative growth and efficiency for Vicinity. Under his leadership, the company has expanded its footprint, enhanced its technological capabilities, and solidified its position as a leader in the urban and campus clean energy sector. Bill’s vision and dedication have been instrumental in advancing Vicinity’s mission to provide sustainable and reliable energy solutions to its customers and communities.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved at Vicinity,” said Bill DiCroce, executive chairman of Vicinity. “Our adoption of cutting-edge clean energy technologies and our commitment to sustainability have set a strong foundation for the future. Kevin has been instrumental in driving our shift to electrification and will continue to lead our efforts to decarbonize our customers and operations.” 

Kevin Hagerty brings a wealth of experience and a forward-thinking approach to his new role as CEO and president. With a proven track record of driving innovation and fostering growth, Kevin is poised to lead Vicinity into its next chapter. His vision for a clean energy future aligns perfectly with Vicinity’s commitment to offering sustainable energy solutions that decarbonize our customers and communities.

“I am honored to take on this new role and continue the essential work of decarbonizing and expanding Vicinity’s district energy business,” said Kevin Hagerty, CEO and president of Vicinity. “My focus will be accelerating our efforts to provide clean, efficient, and reliable energy solutions to drive the transition to a sustainable energy future. A prime example of our commitment is our recent partnership with Emerson College, where we are excited to support their sustainability goals through our innovative eSteam™ solution.”

As part of this vision, Vicinity is committed to electrifying its operations and expanding its innovative eSteam™ solution. By transitioning from fossil fuels to electricity sourced from renewable energy, Vicinity aims to significantly reduce carbon emissions and enhance the sustainability of its services. eSteam™, in particular, represents a groundbreaking approach to providing carbon-free steam for heating and cooling needs, further supporting customers in their journey toward decarbonization and compliance with building performance standards.

“Our electrification initiatives and district solutions are designed to decarbonize at a city-wide scale. Creating a sustainable energy future is a monumental task that we all share, and innovative solutions like Vicinity’s eSteam™ are crucial to addressing this challenge with the necessary scale and speed,” added Kevin Hagerty. “Vicinity is made up of an incredible team of people that I am proud to be a part of, and together, we will strive to do what is best for our customers, the cities we serve, and our planet.”

As Vicinity looks ahead, the company remains dedicated to its core mission of safety, sustainability, innovation, and community. With Kevin Hagerty at the helm and Bill DiCroce’s continued strategic involvement as executive chairman, Vicinity is well-positioned to lead the clean energy transition of urban cores and campuses.

About Vicinity Energy

Vicinity Energy is the largest owner and operator of district energy systems dedicated to decarbonizing its operations and investing in innovative renewable thermal energy technologies to offer carbon-free eSteam™ to its customers. Operating 19 district energy systems in 12 cities, Vicinity delivers reliable and sustainable steam, hot water, and chilled water to over 260 million square feet of building space nationwide. As Vicinity advances its electrification efforts across its locations, the goal to achieve net zero by 2050 is more than a commitment—it’s a mission. Learn more about Vicinity’s vision for a clean energy future at www.vicinityenergy.us.

Media Contact
Sara DeMille
Senior Director, Marketing and Communications
media@vicinityenergy.us

Mercy Medical Center counts on Vicinity for reliable steam and chilled water expansion

Industry

Healthcare

Location

Baltimore, MD

Square footage

1.4 million

The customer

Mercy Medical Center is an acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital serving the downtown Baltimore community and beyond since 1874. Since its founding by the Sisters of Mercy, the hospital has helped shape downtown Baltimore and continues to provide award-winning patient care in women’s health, orthopedics, cancer care, digestive health, and more. With 183 licensed beds, this thriving health system proudly serves its community with prestigious doctors and leading Centers of Excellence. The facility is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, which employs over 200 providers with locations across Maryland. 

Mercy’s staff is dedicated to respecting the humanity of each patient and delivering high-quality care with warmth and compassion. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report, a top 100 hospital for women’s health and orthopedics by Healthgrades, and a Magnet Hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. Additionally, Mercy has ranked as one of the safest hospitals in the U.S., achieving an “A” Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade. 

The challenge

As one of the top hospitals in Maryland, Mercy requires reliable energy solutions to meet its high demand for heating, sterilization, and chilled water to keep mission-critical operations up and running 24/7 and optimize patient comfort.  

After leveraging district energy for nearly sixty years, the Mercy team sought opportunities to support the hospital’s increasing energy load while achieving long-term energy resilience and cost savings. 

The solution

As one of Vicinity’s longest-standing partners, the Mercy team further demonstrated its trust in district energy by extending the hospital’s contract with Vicinity for over 20 years, expanding its chilled water service, and leveraging Vicinity experts for annual preventive maintenance. While Vicinity provides chilled water and steam for the hospital’s daily operations, Mercy can focus on fostering a community of compassionate care for patients. 

“The steam and chilled water services that Vicinity Energy provides are crucial to the operational efficiency of our hospital and support our mission to provide excellent and compassionate clinical care to all citizens of Baltimore,” states Mercy Medical Center’s Vice President of Support Services and Construction Robert Beckwith.

Tackling large capital projects with low upfront costs

Vicinity implemented improvements to existing steam infrastructure to drive system efficiencies, reduce energy costs, and decrease annual maintenance spending for Mercy. The project included the relocation and replacement of 900 feet of steam piping along Saratoga Street from Charles to Calvert. Vicinity also expanded and extended its chilled water system 550 feet east along Saratoga Street to serve Mercy and future customers in this section of Baltimore. The upgrade and replacement of existing steam mains along with the addition of new chilled water piping also brought about street beautification from Saratoga Street to Calvert Street with road repaving and aesthetic improvements to public spaces. While Vicinity invests in the Baltimore district energy system to optimize its efficiency and expand its reach throughout the city, Mercy and other Baltimore customers are able to reap the benefits of these upgrades with minimal upfront costs.  

Enhanced reliability for 24/7 patient care 

As part of this extended partnership, Vicinity supplies the Mercy campus with more chilled water from its central chilled water system, quadrupling the cooling output previously provided to the hospital. Vicinity also tied the district chilled water into Mercy’s existing chilled water facility to keep both resources available for guaranteed reliability. Vicinity’s interconnected central facilities, back-up generation, and multiple water and fuel sources deliver the reliability that Mercy and the Baltimore community depend upon. 

Reducing Baltimore’s carbon footprint 

District energy harnesses the power of a centrally located facility to generate cost-effective steam and hot and chilled water that yield greater efficiency, reliability, and carbon reductions over conventional generation, such as onsite boilers or chillers. Because Vicinity leverages renewables to generate approximately 50% of the steam delivered to Baltimore customers and 100% carbon-free electricity via emission-free energy certificates (EFECs), district energy helps reduce Mercy’s carbon footprint. In fact, district energy helps the City of Baltimore avoid 71,361 tons of carbon emissions annually. As Vicinity advances its electrification strategy across all its operations, customers, like Mercy, will continue to receive greener energy solutions and make strides towards decarbonization.   

Benefits

energy experts

Access to energy experts

99.99% reliability 

Meet stringent energy needs

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D is for district heating

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Summer readiness checklist

As temperatures rise, it’s time to ensure HVAC systems are geared up for the summer heat to optimize building systems’ performance, conserve energy, and keep occupants comfortable.

Whether buildings use district chilled water or operate onsite chillers and cooling towers, regularly reviewing and implementing this guide ensures proactive building readiness for summer temperatures, helps maximize equipment lifespan, and improves overall energy efficiency.

Print out this summer preparedness checklist and review it every spring to prepare staff and equipment for the coming warm temperatures. Please note that the steps will vary depending on the equipment present onsite.

Contact your account manager to explore partnering with Vicinity’s operations and maintenance experts to assist with summer readiness, equipment upgrades, or preventative maintenance programs.

Vicinity leverages best practices at its central facilities to provide a smooth transition into the summer season. These protocols ensure safe, reliable, and consistent operation to prevent service disruptions for customers who leverage chilled water or steam for cooling purposes. Vicinity’s interconnected energy facilities offer 99.99% uptime energy delivery with resiliency through redundant power and fuel sources.

Vicinity’s summer preparedness includes extensive cooling tower and chiller inspection and cleaning at Vicinity’s central facilities that produce chilled water, including basin cleaning, sterilization to prevent bacteria growth, and oil inspections on gearboxes and fan belts. Vicinity also performs eddy current testing to detect leaks on chiller tubes and inspects refrigerant and oil samples. By taking these proactive steps, Vicinity delivers reliable customer service year-round and reduces the maintenance needed onsite at customers’ buildings.

eSteam™: a cost-effective, carbon-free renewable energy solution to decarbonize your commercial building

Commercial buildings represent the highest source of carbon emissions in major cities, making them one of the most important targets in urban decarbonization. eSteam™ is a unique solution that can address this challenge head-on and inexpensively decarbonize healthcare, life sciences, universities and commercial buildings with ease.

Accelerate decarbonization with eSteam™

Vicinity’s renewable thermal energy product will help you accelerate the decarbonization of your building and our communities. Our solution is turn-key. 

eSteam™ reduces the need for you to invest in new onsite energy infrastructure to meet your sustainability goals. By connecting to the district energy system, you eliminate the need to make significant investments to decarbonize your building’s thermal energy load—we’re doing that for you. Vicinity will leverage and build upon existing infrastructure, including our existing network of steam pipes, electric substations, and transmission lines, and deploy the capital needed to rapidly reduce our carbon emissions.

For our cities, Vicinity’s eSteam™ provides a way to cleanly heat and cool urban buildings—reducing the need for natural gas boilers that create unregulated gas stacks and unmonitored carbon emissions—improving overall air quality in neighborhoods.

eSteam™ is the first renewable, carbon-free thermal energy product in the United States, offering maximum flexibility and superior environmental benefits.

eSteam™ benefits:

  • Carbon-free – eSteam™ is carbon-free, so you can meet your sustainability goals and avoid looming carbon taxes.
  • Total flexibility – You nominate how much eSteam™ you want annually and select the renewable electricity source to generate your eSteam™ based on your budget and sustainability objectives.
  • Affordability – eSteam™ is the most cost-effective, affordable option to green your building compared to alternatives, like electric boilers in your building. Vicinity’s access to transmission level rates gives district energy an economic advantage over onsite equipment.
  • Avoid carbon fees and fines – Many cities in the U.S. have implemented or are considering laws that will lower greenhouse gas emissions in buildings. Oftentimes, these policies will carry hefty fines for non-compliance. eSteam™ is guaranteed carbon- free, giving you peace of mind that your building will be green, without costing you more green.
  • Maximum reliability and resiliency – Join the many customers who choose Vicinity’s district energy heating and cooling products for maximum reliability and resiliency.
  • Low capital investments – To access the benefits of eSteam™, you don’t need to invest in costly capital projects and you can avoid expensive building retrofits. Decarbonize your thermal energy footprint by simply connecting to Vicinity’s district energy network.
  • Certifications – Gain potential points for LEED® and ENERGY STAR® certifications to demonstrate your buildings’ commitment to sustainability.

Customers benefit from carbon-free eSteam™ generated with renewable electricity.

How eSteam™ works

By installing electric boilers at our central facilities and procuring renewable power from the grid, we can offer carbon-free steam to meet your buildings’ thermal energy needs. Vicinity can purchase renewable power on your behalf—such as wind, solar and hydro—at transmission level rates, allowing us to keep your costs down.

Coupled with other technologies like industrial-scale heat pumps and thermal storage, our goal is to offer you the most affordable, flexible thermal energy product that lowers carbon footprints, improves air quality and meets sustainability goals.

Vicinity’s eSteam™ is the first renewable, carbon-free thermal energy product in the United States, offering you maximum flexibility and superior environmental benefits.

Lock in with eSteam™ today to decarbonize your buildings and avoid looming carbon fees. To learn more about eSteam™ email our energy experts at info@vicinityenergy.us.

Pumps & Systems podcast: Heat pumps & decarbonization

In this episode of the Pumps & Systems podcast, Bill DiCroce, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vicinity Energy discussed the role heat pumps can play in decarbonization, as well as the efforts cities like Boston are currently making to strive for sustainability and an eventual goal of net zero carbon emissions.

Recommended preventative maintenance

Vicinity’s comprehensive maintenance services are offered year-round—during peak usage or before system turn-ons—to optimize steam efficiency, reliability, and cost savings.

Improve the operating performance of steam systems by taking preventive steps to avoid energy losses. Customers who have leveraged Vicinity’s preventive maintenance program have experienced the following benefits:

  • Conserved energy and reduced energy costs by improving system performance and eliminating inefficiencies.
  • Improved reliability by identifying problem areas that could cause unscheduled system outages.
  • Optimized capital expenditure and operating expenses by maximizing system efficiency and strategically planning for infrastructure investments with an identified budget for equipment repair or replacement.
  • Improved operating procedures by reviewing, refining, and documenting preventative maintenance best practices.
We partner with each of our customers to customize recurring service agreements for the summer and winter seasons, tailoring the maintenance services below to their specific needs. Reach out to your Account Manager today to understand the preventative maintenance services offered in your district.

Steam traps

  • Service description: Survey building, locate, identify, tag, and test steam trap performance.
  • Maintenance value: Ensure steam traps function correctly and prevent issues that can lead to energy waste, equipment damage, and safety hazards.

Pressure Regulating Valves (PRVs)

  • Service description: Identify valves’ make, model, size, and serial number. Test pilot valve for leaks, clean orifices, check diaphragm plates, test the gauging, and set to desired system pressure.
  • Maintenance value: Prevent system over-pressurization and relief valves from releasing steam into the atmosphere. Failed PRVs may improperly cycle open and close, both oversupplying and then starving the downstream equipment of steam.

Strainers

  • Service description: Inspect screens and clean out debris, evaluate source of debris, and troubleshoot. Ensure blow-down valves are functioning properly to flush trapped material.
  • Maintenance value: Reduce rust and pipe scale damage to valves and pumps. Ensure heat transfer surfaces are kept free of efficiency reducing deposits.

Heat exchangers

  • Service description: Perform water chemistry testing, determine if leaks exist, measure tube thickness, repair or plug tubes as needed, and perform preventative maintenance, such as hydrolasing or cleaning as needed.
  • Maintenance value: Recover efficiency losses, optimize operation of the exchangers, and reduce energy consumption.

Steam pipe

  • Service description: Inspect steam piping. Check for leaking joints, watermarks on insulation, and corrosion.
  • Maintenance value: Deliver safe and reliable steam into the building while reducing potential for steam emissions into the building.

Condensate return line

  • Service description: Inspect for leaks and corrosion. Check condensate pump seals for leaks. Check vent pipes for vapor emissions.
  • Maintenance value: Avoid condensate water spills, ensure proper evacuation of condensate from system lines, and identify the presence of leaking steam traps in the system.

Mechanical room hot water loop

  • Service description: Inspect all piping, inlet/outlet temperatures, and pressures on heat exchangers and mechanical pumps.
  • Maintenance value: Confirm adequate operation of key energy transfer equipment, such as heat exchangers, which supply building heat, hot water, or other process loads.

Seasonal and maintenance shutdowns/turn-ons

  • Service description: Manage closure and opening of Vicinity’s main service valve for seasonal system curtailment or start of use. Shutdowns require draining of systems while turn-ons require both draining of systems and operating pressure checks.
  • Maintenance value: Ensure safe and confined operation of Vicinity’s main service valve for shutdowns/turn-ons related to seasonal changes and maintenance activities. Reduce radiant energy losses, condensate accumulation in system piping, and mechanical room air space temperature. Prevent pipes from rotting and prepare systems to be dormant for an extended period by draining the systems for shutdowns.