Q. What is the Medical Center Company?
A. The non-profit Medical Center Company (MCCo) is a district energy system that was created in 1932 to provide energy for some of Cleveland’s most historic institutions in the University Circle area. It has been a part of the neighborhood ever since, efficiently distributing steam heat, electricity and chilled water to its small but vital group of institutional customers.
Q. What is a district energy system?
A. A district energy system is a centralized, energy-efficient method of heating and cooling buildings. Steam, hot water and/or chilled water are produced at a nearby plant and then distributed for heating, hot water and/or air conditioning. District energy systems are common in the U.S., and are often used on college campuses. The proximity of the plant to the customers makes such a system efficient and reliable.
Q. Who are MCCo’s customers?
A. MCCo’s customers include University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Institute of Art, Cleveland Botanical Gardens, The Musical Arts Association (Severance Hall), Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, Cleveland Medical Library Association and the Church of the Covenant.
Q. Does MCCo save its customers money?
A. Yes, nearly $16 million a year, by producing on-site energy at below market rates. These substantial savings benefit member institutions by allowing them to upgrade facilities and hire the best and brightest employees. MCCo’s customers represent some of the most significant members of Cleveland’s economy and the lower energy rates they receive from MCCo help them remain competitive.
Q. Is the Medical Center Company a reliable source of energy?
A. Absolutely. The Medical Center Company has been an important part of the University Circle neighborhood since 1932. Its proximity and short-distance energy transmission result in reliability and efficiency – contributing to cost-savings that MCCo passes along to its customers.
Q. Where is the Medical Center Company located?
A. MCCo is at 2250 Circle Drive, just off of Cornell Road, where it has been located since 1932.
Q. How does the Medical Center Company generate energy?
A. The Medical Center Company currently uses coal and natural gas to generate steam heat for its customers. However, early in 2010, we made the decision to convert to a totally coal-free production facility. The company is currently evaluating all aspects of that conversion and expects to have a comprehensive strategic plan and timetable in place for moving away from coal by the end of 2011.
Q. What steps have been taken to reduce emissions?
A. Substantial investments have been made, and will continue to be implemented to minimize emissions.
Due to our emissions management systems, our emissions historically have not approached allowable limits and are less than half the amount allowed by Ohio EPA regulations.
Early in 2010, MCCo made the decision to convert to a totally coal-free production facility. The company is currently evaluating all aspects of that conversion and expects to have a comprehensive strategic plan and timetable in place by the end of 2011.
For the past 40 years, every additional BTU of generation capacity has moved beyond coal, utilizing natural gas-fired boilers.
In addition, MCCo expects to lead an aggressive demand-side program, supporting the conservation and efficiency efforts of its member institutions. MCCo will continue to collaborate with its member institutions, the neighboring community and the EPA during this transition period and openly communicate its progress.