Thermal Engineering Group, Inc. (TEG) has been awarded a new five-year contract to serve as Project Administrator (PA) for the Metropolitan Nashville District Energy System (MNDES). The engagement commenced May 4, 2023, to run for 12 months, with four 12-month renewal options not to exceed 60 months (five years) total.
“Our primary role is to represent Metro Government to all related parties including customers, the contract system operator (SO), and the bond-holder’s trustee for financial matters,” stated Dan Coyle, president of TEG “We are uniquely qualified having concluded 16 years of service to MNDES in this role. We provide engineered solutions that not only address immediate operating needs but must also address the long-term operational requirements of the system including meeting system demand and monitoring operating efficiencies. Unlike many engineering engagements that involve primarily project design, our services extend throughout the ongoing operation.’
Thermal Engineering Group’s services include both the main plant or energy generation facility (EGF) and the energy distribution systems (EDS) which includes pipes both in tunnels and direct buried, vaults, and access structures, and all customer interface points of connection to the system.
“District energy systems have unique complexities and requirements that call for specialized knowledge and experience. The Nashville system has some 42 disparate buildings with significantly different needs and opportunities for maximizing their benefits from being connected to the system,” added Coyle.
TEG also works with Metro in identifying and evaluating opportunities for system growth and expansion, as well as for system upgrades and modernization which enhances performance and sustainability of the system.
“In the past decade, generally speaking, each new customer had to provide suitable revenue to cover the costs of adding it to the system,” stated Coyle, “The pace and scale of development occurring in Nashville holds the potential to justify larger scale infrastructure improvements through new growth opportunities by increasing loads. We are also looking at innovative ways to pay for updating some of the systems aging components with new, more efficient and cost-effective equipment.”
TEG has access to a vast institutional knowledge base comprised of actual data regarding customer demands and needs which can prove very beneficial to anyone developing a new project downtown and wanting to accurately evaluate whether MNDES is right for their project.
“We can accurately tell a new project developer in advance what their energy costs will likely be, and then give them an accurate, market-specific comparison between MNDES and alternatives,” stated Coyle, “ The system has such a diverse customer base, our historical energy usage data covers a tremendous array of space designs and uses.”