District energy refers to generating any combination of electricity,
steam, heating, or cooling at a central plant and then distributing that
energy to a network of nearby buildings. As a result, individual buildings
connected to the network avoid the need to install and maintain their own
boilers, furnaces, chillers, or air conditioners, saving on capital and
maintenance costs. Many district energy schemes use
combined heat and power, recycling the
thermal energy left over from electricity generation for heating or cooling.
District energy is an efficient, reliable, and cost-effective option for any
cluster or network of buildings.
The city of Denver,
has the oldest continuously-run district energy system in the nation,
providing both steam and cooling to downtown businesses (Photo: Patrick