The District Energy System of the Medical Center Company
As a District Energy system, MCCo produces and distributes steam and chilled water underground through dedicated piping networks which in turn heats and cools the buildings. MCCo also purchases and distributes electricity through a series of substations and underground conduit systems to every building in the network.
Consolidating energy production and distribution to one primary supplier saves money through economies of scale. It also promotes more effective equipment maintenance, and creates additional free space in each member facility that would have been used for separate heating and cooling supply equipment. The District Energy model optimizes the use of fuels, power and resources within its membership, saving money and operating in a more environmentally friendly manner
The concept of a District Energy system is not new, but is being highlighted more as the industry is looking to utilize energy in the most efficient way possible. In a recent article entitled "How to Build a Greener City" (September 12, 2011), the Wall Street Journal stated:
"...district heating systems are considerably more efficient-capturing up to 90% of the available energy-than in-building boilers. And they can tap any number of heat sources, including high-efficiency natural-gas turbines, large-scale solar thermal systems, biomass incinerators or furnaces in a steel mill. Common in Europe, high-efficiency district heating systems are being used in South Korea's Songdo IBD and are in the plans for other eco-city developments."
For more information on the benefits of District Energy systems or how they are used throughout the United States, visit the International District Energy Association.