Veolia Energy has upgraded its Grand Rapids district energy heating and cooling system with a new custom-built condensing heat exchanger, which has reduced carbon-dioxide emissions by five percent annually, reports Rapid Growth. It also has cut fuel consumption by at least five percent.
Veolia Energy Grand Rapids installed the “Economizer” heat recovery system, designed and built by Progressive AE, at the energy facility it purchased from Kent County in December 2008.
The facility provides steam to about 125 downtown commercial, government, institutional and healthcare customers to heat their buildings and water, according to the article. It distributes steam to the central business district along four miles of high pressure and 1.5 miles of low pressure steam pipes.
Veolia Energy Grand Rapids general manager Keith Oldewurtel told Rapid Growth that the installation was planned during the acquisition process to improve the facility’s sustainability and to keep the facility competitive.
Veolia Energy, nominated by DTE Energy, won an award from trade association Energy Solutions Center for the Economizer’s efficiency.
In November last year, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced nine projects, totaling approximately $150 million, which will be leveraged with $634 million in private industry cost share, to promote the use of combined heat and power, district energy systems, waste energy recovery systems, and energy-efficiency initiatives in hospitals, utilities, and industrial sites.
The DOE says these systems can be nearly twice as efficient as conventional heat and power production.