Boston Medical Center goes green to help meet its thermal energy needs

Posted on 14 Jun 2016 by Aiden Burgess

Boston Medical Center is using an innovative way to help meet its thermal energy needs.

The 496-bed medical center and the largest 24-hour Level I trauma center in New England  is using a new innovative approach to heating from French environmental services company, Veolia. The sustainable, so-called ‘Green Steam’, is an innovative environmental solution combining heat and power, which is hoped will help avoid an estimated 8,500 tons of carbon emissions annually while meeting the thermal energy needs of the Boston Medical Center.

The 20-year thermal energy agreement between Boston Medical Center and Veolia will be in place during a multi-year campus redesign.

The $300m redesign of the 500,00 sq ft BMC site is aimed at consolidating services, increasing efficiency, reducing operating costs and further lowering the facility’s carbon footprint.

Veolia’s Green Steam or thermal energy is produced using advanced Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology at Kendall Co-generation Station – the primary generating facility of Veolia’s Boston-Cambridge district energy system.

Veolia’s highly efficient CHP technology that produces the Green Steam recaptures thermal energy that would otherwise be wasted, thereby significantly reducing the Boston-Cambridge region’s overall carbon footprint.

BMC is one of Veolia’s largest customers in Boston and its use of the Green Steam technology will result in an annual carbon emissions reduction equivalent to removing 1,700 cars from the road.

With the installation of an additional steam pipeline connecting Cambridge and Boston, steam supplied to BMC will consist of recycled Green Steam that is produced as a by-product of electricity generation.

BMC’s Vice President of Facilities and Support Services, Bob Biggio, said the use of Veolia’s Green Steam technology would help BMC meet its sustainability goals while maintaining a top level of service for patients.

“As a medical campus treating a diverse range of healthcare needs, it’s absolutely vital for Boston Medical Center to maintain continuous and consistent heating, sterilization and comfort levels,” he said.

“After careful analysis of all of our potential options, it became clear that with Veolia’s recent investments to create a more sustainable district energy system, executing a new “Green Steam” contract with Veolia would best support our sustainability goal of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.”

This ongoing partnership will also see Veolia support BMC’s thermal energy requirements for the hospital’s multi-year campus redesign.

Boston Medical Center to receive utility data from Veolia

In addition to providing BMC with Green Steam, Veolia’s energy consulting business will provide utility data management and billing services using Veolia’s real-time energy data monitoring software, which will help BMC to better understand utility costs and advance efficiency improvements to reduce energy use.

President and COO of Veolia North America’s Municipal & Commercial business, John Gibson, said BMC had demonstrated leadership in the environmental world through its integration of “Green Steam”.

“We are excited to continue this sustainable partnership with Boston Medical Center a national healthcare leader in providing urgent and clinical care,” he said.

“By taking advantage of Veolia’s integrated Green Steam network to meet its current and future thermal energy needs, the medical center is demonstrating its environmental leadership.”

Veolia’s Green Steam is an innovative environmental solution that recycles thermal energy previously lost to the environment, utilizing advanced co-generation technology at Kendall Co-generation Station in Cambridge.

Up to 75% of Veolia’s district energy heat supply now consists of recycled Green Steam.

Veolia’s $112m Green Steam investment generates significant benefits for the Cambridge and Boston district, including a total reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across the district of around 475,000 tons annually, which is the equivalent of removing 80,00 cars from the roads.