The City of Burlington announced Thursday that it will move forward with its long-envisioned district energy system, albeit a highly scaled-back version.
The city has signed a letter of agreement with the University of Vermont Medical Center, Vermont Gas and consultant Ever-Green Energy to explore a $16 million system that would power hospital buildings with steam generated from the Joseph C. McNeil biomass plant.
The previous proposal would have cost an estimated $40 million and counted 16 potential customers, including the University of Vermont, CityPlace Burlington and Hotel Vermont.
Despite the smaller size, the city touted the proposal as a "significant step" toward Burlington's goal of becoming a net zero energy city by 2030.
"It is exciting that, for the first time in 35 years of exploring such a system, we are advancing to the stage of detailed engineering and economic analysis," Mayor Miro Weinberger said in a press release. "While much work remains, today's news represents a major breakthrough."
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