In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the importance of energy reliability and security is irrefutable.  The Northeast-Midwest Institute released today a new Note to the Coalitions: “New Energy for Older Cities: District Energy and Combined Heat and Power.” The Note describes a compelling and highly reliable energy generation and distribution option for institutions within the region's older industrial cities: district energy (DE) and combined heat and power (CHP).
DE and CHP are efficient approaches to energy generation and distribution that fit uniquely well with the needs, circumstances, and revitalization aspirations of older industrial cities. Specifically, DE/CHP can capitalize on the physical concentration of buildings, people, and services in urban cores, delivering much-needed cost-savings, a reliable energy supply, and environmental benefits to cities and their major institutions. Despite an improving policy context, those wishing to develop DE/CHP still face utility-related, financial, and policy obstacles. The Note summarizes key points from a larger report released last month, “New Energy for Older Cities: District Energy, Combined Heat and Power, and the NEMW Region’s Older Industrial Cities.” The Note makes federal policy recommendations based on existing research and a new case study of a DE provider in Cleveland, Ohio: the Medical Center Company.