City of Boulder
The site of the former hospital in Boulder, Alpine-Balsam, is in the beginning stages of a multi-year redevelopment process which includes planning for the site’s energy future. The city recently conducted an energy systems feasibility study to learn more about the energy potential for the mixed-use area in the heart of Boulder. According to the preliminary analysis, several cutting-edge, clean and energy-efficient energy solutions are feasible at the site.
The study, conducted by consulting firm WSP, compared different energy system designs to a baseline code-based construction cost and energy model. The study authors examined several scenarios, including maximizing on-site solar, increasing the energy efficiency of site buildings and centralizing systems to heat and cool the site with renewable sources, called “district energy.”
The study found that a district system showed promising financial feasibility and long-term cost savings. When combined with on-site solar and measures to improve the site’s energy efficiency, district heat could cut down on energy and maintenance costs, support reliability through reduced peak power needs, advance the city’s climate goals and reduce up-front construction costs.