16 February 2010 – Sustainable energy services and facility management solutions company, Veolia Energy North America has purchased the Comfort Link district cooling system business in Baltimore, Maryland, US, one of the nations’ largest ice thermal storage systems that serves 50 major customers in the city.
Comfort Link was previously a partnership of Baltimore Gas and Electric and Monumental Investment Corporation, a subsidiary of EMCOR Group.
The acquisition will expand Veolia Energy’s existing district energy (heating, cooling and cogeneration) operations in Baltimore, with 16 new buildings served.
Comfort Link’s ice thermal storage system reduces the number of required chillers and cooling towers, which makes it highly energy-efficient. In addition, Comfort Link works as an energy storage system, allowing Veolia Energy to produce thermal energy during off-peak periods, potentially saving money, and reducing the demand for electricity during peak hours.
Veolia Energy will provide preventive maintenance and will continue to invest in the system to increase efficiency, says the company. Customers connected to the system include federal, state, and Baltimore City government buildings; entertainment and retail establishments; commercial office buildings; hotels; hospitals; and religious and other non-profit facilities.
The Comfort Link system delivers more than 30,000 tonnes of cooling capacity and approximately 40 million tonnes-hours of chilled water via a 16 km distribution network. Founded in 1996, the system features four networked chilled-water production facilities.
Prior to the acquisition of Comfort Link, Veolia Energy provided centrally-produced steam, hot water and chilled water to approximately 250 commercial, government, institutional and hospitality customers in Baltimore’s central business district, East Baltimore and Inner Harbor East areas.