Veolia Energy North America recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commission two new natural gas-fired, rapid-response boilers, which are part of the company’s multi-million-dollar investment in its Philadelphia district energy network to convert it to 100 percent steam.
The rapid-response boilers replace an old, oil-fired boiler, increasing the overall efficiency of steam service in the central business and University of Pennsylvania districts of Philadelphia.
In Philadelphia, Veolia Energy’s district energy network serves more than 500 buildings in the central business and university city districts from three steam production facilities and one chilled water facility. One of Veolia Energy’s three Philadelphia steam production facilities is a 163 MW combined heat and power (CHP) facility, which recycles the waste heat from its power generation process into useful thermal energy to heat Philadelphia’s downtown district. The simultaneous production of electric power and steam significantly reduces both the resulting air emissions and the total amount of fuel burn that would otherwise be required from the separate production of these two forms of energy.
As part of its extended 20-year steam supply agreement with the University of Pennsylvania, Veolia Energy has expanded the scope of its services to include conservation and operational improvement initiatives as well as a major upgrade in natural gas transportation infrastructure. The agreement with Veolia Energy complements the university’s strategy to reduce its carbon footprint through renewable energy purchases and increased efficiency of its operations.
Veolia Energy North America owns the Philadelphia district energy network and paid for the upgrades, according to a spokesman.