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Philadelphia hospital benefits from reliable cooling via a chilled water plant owned and operated by Vicinity

Vicinity Energy’s development and ongoing operation of a 7,000-ton central chilled water plant helps Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and Thomas Jefferson University, a 925-bed hospital and teaching university, meet its cooling needs, while eliminating the up-front capital commitment by the client.

Scope

With a $24 million capital cost, Vicinity Energy designed, financed and built a central chilled water plant at Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and Thomas Jefferson University to supply the campus with reliable cooling. Under a 30-year agreement, Vicinity owns, operates and maintains the plant to meet the institution’s campus chilled water demand.

Challenge

Thomas Jefferson University Hospitals and Thomas Jefferson University, a 925-bed hospital and teaching university, are partners in providing excellent clinical and compassionate care for patients in the Philadelphia region. As the institution sought to grow and renew its utility infrastructure, it also required a financing solution to advance these capital improvements. Due to Vicinity’s presence in Philadelphia, access to capital, and its reputation as a reliable and effective thermal energy provider and operator through the city’s steam grid, provision of chilled water from Vicinity was a natural fit.

Solution

With Vicinity’s financing, engineering and project development support, the institution developed a new central chilled water plant without the upfront capital expense that would have been incurred from self-development. Vicinity owns, operates and maintains the central chilled water plant consisting of cooling towers, chilled water and condensing water pumps, electric switchgear, emergency generator and 2,000 lineal feet of chilled water pipe.
With 7,000 tons of chilled water production capacity, the plant serves six buildings consisting of 1.7 million square feet of hospital, university and research space via a new underground distribution system. The engineering design included four electric centrifugal chillers with dual compressors and variable frequency drives on each chiller and a custom composite cooling tower.

Results

Following its completion by Vicinity, the central chilled water plant and distribution system continues to provide high-quality, reliability chilled water service to
the University and Hospital under a 30-year contract term. Vicinity’s long-term partnership enables the institutions to focus on its research efforts and providing quality clinical care to its patients.


Highlights

925 bed hospital
30 -year contract
7,000 tons of chilled water production
1.5M+ square feet served
6 buildings served
2,000 lineal feet of supply and return chilled-water pipe
32,400 tons of chilled water capacity