Bridgeport District Energy Project and Danish Clean Energy Consortium Sign Development Agreement September 30, 2015
Members of NuPower Thermal Bridgeport , LLC and the Danish Clean Consortium announced a development agreement to support the Bridgeport District Energy, project planned for Bridgeport. The Consortium is comprised of the Danish government Clean Cluster and internationally known companies, ABB and Logstor.
The consortium will provide funding and support for the final phase of engineering, as well as technology sourcing and project management under an exclusive agreement. Construction is anticipated for late 2016.
The district energy system in Bridgeport will utilize waste heat from multiple sources, including the Wheelabrator waste-to-energy plant and United Illuminating’s proposed 2.8 megawatt fuel cell at Green Energy Park. The warm water subsequently produced by the combined sources will provide heat to customers as it is piped through the designated buildings. This type of heating system is recognized as highly efficient and beneficial for the environment. Customers using DE will reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 80 per cent.
“It is a great project for Bridgeport and Connecticut. The technology is proven and delivers greenhouse gas savings and a reliable heat supply” said Jakob Bjerregarrd of the Danish Embassy. “We are excited to play a major role in the project which will serve as an archetype for future projects in the U.S.”
In addition to the environmental and cost benefits the project will generate a number of jobs during construction as well as a dozen permanent jobs.
“The combination of heat sources close to a concentrated population in Bridgeport provides a unique opportunity to develop a thermal energy district” said Carsten Moller, International Director of the Clean Cluster.
Bridgeport’s general assembly delegation strongly supported legislation during the 2015 session to provide support for the project from the state energy efficiency fund. One of the additional benefits of DE is that it decouples customers from natural gas usage as a primary source of heat.
“This collaboration is a great step forward”, said Dan Donovan, a principal of NuPower. “This technologically advanced system will add greatly to the resurgence of Bridgeport”.
An important innovation of this project will be the use of warm water, rather than steam, to circulate heat energy throughout the system. Many district energy systems, such as the Hartford Steam Loop, use steam under high pressure to share energy amongst the buildings on the network. Hot water, used extensively in Europe but gaining in acceptance in the U.S., is not only more efficient but far less capital intensive and easier to maintain.
“The Green Bank is excited about the opportunities this technology offers. We not only support the development of the Bridgeport facility but fully anticipate other urban communities in both Connecticut and the region, will want to adopt this highly efficient system”, noted Bert Hunter, Chief Investment Officer for the Connecticut Green Bank.
While the initial phases of the system will service downtown and the University of Bridgeport the system is easily expanded based on demand. In addition to providing heat the system can be expanded to provide cooling. The feasibility of offering cooling is currently under analysis.
“St Paul Minnesota undertook the development of a district energy system in the 1980’s and it has had a transformative effect on the city. We believe we will achieve similar benefits for Bridgeport” according to Donovan.