On Wednesday, December 20, 2023 a press conference was held at the Metro Nashville District Energy System (MNDES) Energy Generating Facility (EGF) at 90 Peabody Street, to commemorate 20 years of system operation providing sustainable, clean and reliable heating and cooling energy services to customers.
Mayor Freddie O’Connell spoke at the event acknowledging the dedicated work of the team members that operate and oversee MNDES on behalf of the city. He thanked former Mayor Bill Purcell for his vision and actions more than two decades ago in transitioning from the original Thermal Plant, which was one of the original waste-to-energy facilities in the country, into the modern MNDES system two decades ago.
“The system has been a sustainability success story ever since. It provides heating and cooling to 42 facilities, from Music City Center to St, Mary’s of the Seven Sorrows Church, each of them distinct with different needs. It has 97,433 feet of pipeline you never see, and a 99.99 percent system reliability rate since 2006,” stated O’Connell.
The mayor further discussed how district energy systems are a critical component of downtown infrastructure in many major U.S. cities, and he shared the benefits that such systems deliver touching on sustainability, operational efficiencies, reliability and improved utilization of space due to less equipment onsite for each building.
“Over the last two fiscal years, as the unit price of natural gas has risen, DES’s use of interruptible gas service, which allows for price hedging and other fuel purchasing policies because propane is utilized for backup, has saved the customers approximately 4.8 million dollars in natural gas fuel costs compared to each customer purchasing non-interruptible natural gas service on their own,” he added.
Having served on the MNDES board for two terms as a member of the Metro Council, O’Connell helped initiate the conversation about long-term capital planning and opportunities for the system going forward, and he concluded his remarks with a challenge to think about how the system expands its footprint to serve more people.
The mayor was introduced by Scott Potter, Director, Metro Water Services which oversees the operation of the MNDES. Councilmember Jacob Kupin who represents the district where the system is located, shared a proclamation from the Metro Council in honor of the event.
Following the presentation, guided tours of the plant were offered to the media and those in attendance featuring informative displays explaining how the overall system operates.
For more information, contact the project administrator, Dan Coyle of Thermal Engineering Group at 615-264-2611.