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District Heating & Cooling

District energy networks provide one of the most sustainable and cost-effective methods to heat and cool spaces.

Innovative, Sustainable District Energy Solutions

District energy is an innovative energy solution that involves the production of thermal energy at a central facility and distribution to buildings via an underground piping network.

Vicinity owns, operates and maintains the largest district energy portfolio across the U.S., providing highly reliable clean steam, electricity, hot water and chilled water to over 230+ million square feet of building space in cities, including Baltimore, Boston, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Philadelphia, Trenton and Grand Rapids, to name a few.

Cooling

We provide centrally produced chilled water for cooling, eliminating the need for customers to purchase, operate and maintain chillers and cooling towers. Our steam can also be used to power steam absorption chillers and steam-driven turbine chillers to provide cooling, helping minimize a building’s peak electricity demand and costs.

Heating

We provide centrally produced steam and hot water to meet the space conditioning, humidification and process needs of our customers. Whatever the requirements and capital budget may be, we can design and implement an efficient steam or hot water solution. Our heating services are provided from highly reliable and environmentally sustainable plants and distributed through robust underground networks.

Domestic Hot Water

For customers using steam for heating, humidification or air conditioning, we offer a way to maximize the building’s cost-efficiency through condensate recovery. By gathering the water that collects as a steam by-product, water is recaptured and recycled to help heat the domestic water supply, resulting in virtually free hot water for our customers.

Sustainable District Energy to Meet Your Energy Solution Needs

As cities become more condensed, extreme weather events increase and industries require more redundant and reliable energy, having an uninterrupted and sustainable energy supply (electricity, heating, and cooling) has become critically important to human health and economic prosperity. For facilities, communities and campuses that require and consume high volumes of electricity, heat and chilled water to operate efficiently, district energy is helping to free up space in buildings, save building owners in capital expense and operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, and improve reliability and sustainability.

Our steam delivery networks can interface with any type of HVAC building system to provide low cost and reliable thermal energy and cooling. We also provide centrally-produced chilled water, pumping it into buildings and eliminating the need for customers to purchase, operate and maintain chillers and cooling towers.

Several of our districts also integrate combined heat and power (CHP). CHP simultaneously produces power and thermal energy in the form of waste heat. Vicinity captures this waste heat to produce green, low carbon steam, which is delivered to our customers through our vast network of underground pipes. CHP consumes far fewer units of fuel than if the two products are produced separately and can exceed 80% efficiency. Conventional power plants waste two-thirds of the fuel energy they consume by discarding this waste heat into cooling towers, rivers or oceans.

What Benefits Can District Energy Offer You?

District energy is one of the most reliable, sustainable and cost-effective ways to heat and cool building space. It presents numerous benefits, including energy efficiency improvements and a reduction of carbon emissions through the seamless integration of renewables in the energy mix. In addition to the integration of CHP in many of our districts, further greening of our steam is derived from the use of biofuels. We are continuously evaluating the economics of other low carbon energy sources, such as renewable electricity, hydrogen and storage.

District Energy Benefits

  • Transfer energy, operating and environmental risks to Vicinity
  • Leverage a green energy solution that integrates sustainable technologies and renewable fuel sources
  • Achieve potential points for LEED and ENERGY STAR certification
  • Depend on 99.99% reliable energy delivery
  • Rely on interconnected central energy facilities with redundant power, back-up generation and multiple water and fuel sources in the event of interruptions to other utilities
  • Improve your bottom line with competitive energy pricing and eliminate capital costs, interest payments, property taxes and insurance costs
  • Minimize labor and administrative costs and ongoing O&M expenses for onsite boiler and/or chiller plant operation
  • Reduce the cost of development, lower energy infrastructure life cycle costs and redeploy capital to core business objectives through our financing capabilities
  • Reserve usable building square footage and increase opportunities for revenue-generating space that would have otherwise been occupied by large mechanical equipment
  • Improve safety of system operation and lower insurance rates by removing onsite fuel combustion sources and chemical storage
  • Count on industry leading safety performance
  • Focus on your core business functions without the hassle of having to manage a central plant

Reliable service is essential in operating the Walnut Street Theatre, America’s oldest theatre. Vicinity provides first class service to keep our National Historic Landmark building efficiently operating for today’s modern demands.

Mark D. Sylvester

Managing Director, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia, PA

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