In the Industry

District Energy/CHP: A Wise Infrastructure Investment

As the U.S. Congress debates calls for nearly $1 trillion in infrastructure investment, the International District Energy Association (IDEA) is calling on legislators to adopt a “smart vision for the 21st century that features critical energy infrastructure.” IDEA’s President and CEO Rob Thornton expounds on the vision, one that includes district energy and combined heat and power technologies, in his Sept. 20, 2017, article “On infrastructure investment, don’t miss the forest for the trees” in SmartCitiesDIVE.

Thornton explains that the technologies – such as the district cooling system operated by Enwave Chicago – meet vital societal needs: (1) energy efficiency, which reduces expenses and the environmental footprint; (2) resiliency, as evidenced by the increasing number of major storms; and (3) fuel flexibility, which allows the use of local resources that increase energy security and bolster the economy.

A number of district energy/CHP systems have shown their value as reliable energy providers, weathering storms such as Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and most recently, Hurricane Harvey.

Learn more about how district energy/CHP fits into IDEA’s energy infrastructure vision.

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