Supplying reliable thermal energy to downtown Grand Rapids.
Erected in 1897, the Fulton Street steam plant has fueled the growth of the local economy over the last century by supplying resilient thermal energy to local businesses and industries in Grand Rapids. Used in space heating and cooling, domestic hot and chilled water, humidification, and sterilization, Vicinity Energy’s innovative district energy system supplies reliable thermal energy to a variety of customers in downtown Grand Rapids—including the Amway Grand Hotel, the Devos Place Convention Center, the Van Andel Research Institute, and St. Mary’s Hospital.
As owner and operator of the district energy system, Vicinity Energy has invested over $10 million in plant and distribution system improvements to increase its energy reliability, resiliency and cost effectiveness, in addition to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 11,000 tons annually.
Investment in the Grand Rapids district system
Annual reduction of the region’s GHG emissions
Cars removed from the road per year (carbon reduction equivalent)
Investing in Grand Rapids
Vicinity has invested more than $10 million in improving Grand Rapids’ resilient energy infrastructure, resulting in decreased fossil fuel consumption, lower cost per pound of steam produced and a reduction of annual GHG emissions by more than 11,000 tons—the equivalent of removing nearly 2,400 cars from the roads per year.
Meet The Federal Building Performance Standard With District Energy
Vicinity's systems can help you instantly meet the requirements set by Biden's Building Performance Standard (BPS) while benefiting from the efficient, sustainable, and reliable service district energy provides.
An Innovative Approach to a Cleaner Environment
With decades of building and managing the largest energy districts in the U.S., Vicinity continues to innovate and invest in sustainable energy infrastructure and technology to reduce our overall environmental impact.
Our Clean Energy Future is a reflection of this commitment and incorporates the latest strategies and technologies available, including:
- Electrifying generation to further reduce carbon emissions as the grid gets greener;
- Investing in efficiency projects and upgrades to our existing district infrastructure;
- Leveraging renewable energy for our “house loads” in our facilities;
- Researching new opportunities, like the introduction of battery storage, to meet the needs of customers and avoid costly grid interruption; and
- Exploring additional leading-edge technologies to accelerate our transition.
How District Energy Works
District energy is an innovative and resilient energy solution that uses a centrally located facility, or facilities, to generate thermal energy—heat, hot water, or chilled water—which is then transported through highly insulated underground pipes directly to nearby buildings, avoiding the need for boilers, chillers and cooling towers in individual buildings. Watch the video to learn more about how district energy works.
“Sustainability is one of the City’s core values. Vicinity’s purchase of carbon offsets supports our mutual goals to continue measurable progress toward reducing carbon emissions for both our city government operations and community in order to achieve the 2030 District’s target of net zero carbon by 2050.”
Alison Waske Sutter
Sustainability and Performance Management Officer, City of Grand Rapids
We help organizations of all sizes—from hospitals to hotels to municipalities—use and manage energy more efficiently, sustainably, and strategically.
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