Vicinity Energy, owner and operator of the nation’s largest portfolio of district energy systems, has secured a new 20-year contract with Kansas City’s Hotel Phillips. Vicinity Energy will now expand its existing steam service to Hotel Phillips to also include chilled water used for cooling.
Once the tallest building in Kansas City, the 1930’s Art Deco-style hotel has opted to swap out its onsite chillers (comprising 190 tons of annual self-generated cooling) with piped-in chilled water service from Vicinity’s robust district chilled water network. Chilled water service became a viable option for Hotel Phillips due to a major chilled water expansion project completed in 2016, which expanded Vicinity’s service to the west side of Kansas City’s downtown. Benefits of this transition for the hotel include forgoing the imminent major capital cost of replacing its aging cooling tower, improved operational efficiency and reliability, and eliminating the need to house, operate and maintain (O&M) large onsite chilling equipment. This switch will substantially reduce upfront capital expenses, associated O&M costs and free up space that can now be used for the hotel’s core operations. Additionally, switching to Vicinity’s district chilled water will yield a sizable reduction in the hotel’s water and energy consumption, as well as an estimated 50% cut in carbon emissions, resulting in a net environmental benefit to the city.