Mayor Miro Weinberger, Burlington Electric Department (BED), VGS, University of Vermont Medical Center (UVMMC), Ever-Green Energy, and the Burlington District Energy System (BURDES) Committee, a group of interested local citizens, today announced another milestone step forward to Phase 3 of an updated district energy system (DES) project.
Phase 3 marks the first time that the City, BED, VGS, and UVMMC have signed a Letter of Intent (LOI), in which they agree to a three- to six-month scope of work that will determine whether the DES project will advance to the final permitting, financing, and construction phases.
The Phase 3 work includes identifying financing, refining engineering work, identifying necessary permits and approvals, pursuing regulatory reviews, preparing a thermal energy services agreements for the McNeil Joint Owners and DES customers, and more.
Creating a DES in Burlington would meet the long-held goal of recovering waste heat and additional steam from BED’s McNeil Generating Station, and then using those sources to provide thermal energy to UVMMC via steam pipe. The DES also would be a significant step toward Burlington’s goal to become a Net Zero Energy city, and would bring meaningful climate action to Burlington, including significant energy savings and an impactful reduction in Burlington’s commercial sector natural gas related greenhouse gas emissions.
After decades of work toward a DES, the most recent effort with Ever-Green Energy included a just-completed Phase 2 detailed engineering analysis and refined economic modeling that resulted in a proposed innovative new structure providing community participation in DES.
“With today’s announcement, we are closer to creating a district energy system in Burlington, which would be one of the most significant ways we can reduce thermal sector greenhouse gas emissions and make progress in our fight against the global climate emergency,” stated Mayor Weinberger. “I appreciate that, even while tackling the incredible challenges presented by our once-in-a-generation pandemic, we were able to complete the Phase 2 work and now are taking this next milestone step down the path to making Burlington a Net Zero Energy city.”