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Vicinity Energy Extends 20 Year District Energy Contract with Mercy Medical Center, Including Steam Infrastructure Improvements and Chilled Water Service Expansion

Mar 30, 2021

The contract extension will improve system efficiency and energy reliability, while reducing fuel costs for Baltimore’s Mercy Medical Center

BALTIMORE, March 30, 2021Vicinity Energy, owner of the nation’s largest portfolio of district energy systems, has extended its contract with Mercy Medical Center into the next 20 years. The agreement will build upon the nearly 60-year relationship between both organizations by combining three existing Vicinity steam contracts under a single agreement, implementing improvements to existing steam infrastructure, and significantly expanding chilled water service to the medical campus.

One of the top hospitals in Maryland, Mercy Medical Center’s relationship with Vicinity’s robust district energy system dates back to 1963. Vicinity historically supplied 32,500 pounds per hour of steam to the entire campus and 425 tons of chilled water for the Weinberg Building annually. With this new contract, Vicinity will now supply the Mercy campus with a total of 1,725 tons of chilled water per year from its central chilled water system, quadrupling the cooling output and bringing Mercy Medical Center’s buildings under a single chilled water and steam agreement. Vicinity will also perform annual preventive maintenance for Mercy’s steam mechanical rooms. Vicinity will tie the district chilled water into Mercy’s existing chilled water facility to keep both resources available for added redundancy to the hospital.

Beginning in January 2021, the project consolidation will dramatically improve system efficiency for the Medical Center by reducing energy costs and decreasing annual maintenance spend. The project is expected to be completed in August 2021 and will include the relocation and replacement of 900 feet of steam piping along Saratoga Street from Charles to Calvert. Vicinity will also be expanding and extending 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 and the addition of new chilled water piping will also bring street beautification along the Saratoga Street to Calvert Street, with road repaving and aesthetic improvements to public spaces.

“Now, more than ever, hospitals and medical facilities require 24/7 energy to ensure that their mission-critical operations will continue uninterrupted,” said Bill DiCroce, president and CEO of Vicinity Energy. “With interconnected central facilities, back-up generation and multiple water and fuel sources, our district energy systems’ built-in redundancy directly addresses this need and delivers the reliability that hospitals and our communities depend upon. We are proud to continue our relationship with Mercy Medical Center by providing sustainable thermal energy that supports the lifesaving work of its physicians and staff.”

“Vicinity has been a reliable long-term partner for well over a half century and we are excited to be extending our relationship with them, while also ensuring long-term energy resilience and cost savings for the hospital,” said Dr. David N. Maine, president and CEO of Mercy Health Services, Mercy Medical Center. “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,” said Robert Beckwith, vice president of support services and construction at Mercy Medical Center.

District energy harnesses the power of a centrally located facility to generate cost-effective steam and hot and chilled water that yields greater efficiency, reliability and carbon reductions over conventional generation, such as onsite boilers or chillers. In Baltimore, over 50 percent of the steam delivered to customers is generated through renewables—resulting in reductions in greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30,000 tons annually. The downtown Baltimore business corridor is also supplied with reliable central chilled water services, supported by one of the largest ice thermal storage systems in the country.

About Vicinity Energy
With 19 district energy systems in 12 major cities, Vicinity Energy is the leading provider of district energy solutions in the U.S. Vicinity produces and distributes steam, hot water, and chilled water directly through its vast underground network to individual buildings and campuses. District energy eliminates the need for boiler and chiller plants in individual buildings, improving overall efficiency, lowering carbon footprints, and increasing reliability. Vicinity’s over 450 skilled engineers, operators, and energy experts have a singular dedication to customer success and a relentless focus on delivering reliable and efficient energy products and services.

About Mercy Medical Center
Founded in 1874 in downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed acute care university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a top Maryland hospital by U.S. News & World Report; a Top 100 hospital for Women’s Health & Orthopedics by Healthgrades; is currently A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Group), and is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet Hospital. Mercy Medical Center is part of Mercy Health Services (MHS), the parent of Mercy’s primary care and specialty care physician enterprise, known as Mercy Personal Physicians, which employs more than 200 providers with locations in Baltimore, Lutherville, Overlea, Glen Burnie, Columbia and Reisterstown. For more information about Mercy, visit, MDMercyMedia on Facebook, Twitter, or call 1-800-MD-Mercy.

Media Contacts
Sara DeMille
Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

Mercy Medical Center
Dan Collins, APR, ABC
Senior Director of Media Relations
410 332 9714