Delivering low carbon steam, hot water, and chilled water to over 4 million square feet of commercial space in downtown Kansas City.
What do the T-Mobile Center, Flashcube Apartments, City Hall, KC Convention Center and Lifted Spirits Distillery all have in common? These facilities are all supported by Vicinity Energy’s sustainable district energy system—a reliable and robust thermal energy network that supplies low carbon steam, hot water and chilled water to over 4 million square feet of commercial space in downtown Kansas City. District energy is an innovative and resilient energy solution that involves the production of thermal energy from a central plant, eliminating the need to install or manage onsite boilers and chillers.
Owned and operated by Vicinity, the network supplies 99.99% reliable thermal energy to over 60 customers that use it for space heating and cooling, domestic hot and chilled water, humidification, and sterilization. District energy also offers our customers a green energy alternative—through our combined heat and power (CHP) operations, green steam is helping to reduce Kansas City’s carbon footprint by nearly 33,000 tons annually.
Annual reduction of the region’s GHG emissions
Square feet of space served
Investing in Kansas City
Green steam refers to Vicinity’s low carbon thermal product, which in large part comes from a CHP process and the integration of renewable energy. Today in the Kansas City district, CHP technology is maximizing the transformation of fuel into energy and decreasing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by capturing waste heat that would otherwise be lost under conventional means. By combining the production of thermal energy (used for both heating and cooling) and electricity into one process, CHP results in the most efficient use of fuel to generate electricity and condition buildings, using far less fuel than when heat and power are produced separately. Vicinity’s use of innovative CHP technology and its elimination of coal in 2017 have collectively reduced GHG emissions in Kansas City by nearly 33,000 tons annually—the equivalent of removing almost 7,100 cars from the roads.
An Innovative Approach to a Cleaner Environment
- 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.
We help organizations of all sizes—from hospitals to hotels to municipalities—use and manage energy more efficiently, sustainably and strategically.