NRG owns and operates several energy centers across the United States. These systems produce steam, hot water and/or chilled water at a central plant and then pipe the steam and water underground to individual buildings, providing heating, cooling or domestic hot water services.
District Energy From 3 Perspectives
- Central plant produces steam, hot water and/or chilled water
- Sent to buildings via underground network of pipes
- Steam/hot water = heating
- Chilled water = air conditioning
- Water returns to plant for reuse via closed-loop system
- Exceptional reliability via multiple backups, built-in redundancy, 24/7 expert monitoring
- Efficiency of one plant serving many customers vs. each customer building its own
- Frees up space at buildings for more productive uses
- Maintained by NRG = less stress for customers, more time to focus on their business
- New customers easily added onto existing network with little to no infrastructure investment on their part
- New capacity via new plants or retrofits of existing ones
- Environmentally responsible system that can grow as downtown business districts grow
This process is energy efficient and can provide a 99.999% level of reliability. In addition, it typically requires less capital investment, risk and operational costs than systems where each building must maintain its own boiler or air conditioner. Plus, architects appreciate the aesthetic benefit it provides to a downtown skyline by eliminating the need for individual heating/cooling systems and smokestacks.
Each facility has a unique configuration and set of services offered. Some heat, some cool and some do both. Others provide steam for industrial processes. Several systems serve one or two large users, while others serve hundreds of customers of all types and sizes within the core of major U.S. cities.
All told, our Energy Centers provide district heating and/or cooling to more than 10 million square feet of building space nationwide, including hospitals, hotels, commercial office buildings, sports arenas, government buildings and residential high-rises.