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Veolia Energy Partners with Comcast Center in Sustainability Effort

Veolia Energy North America, the owner and operator of the largest portfolio of district energy (heating and cooling) networks in the United States, confirmed that the company is providing heating and cooling services to the Comcast Center in Philadelphia through its subsidiary, Trigen-Philadelphia Energy Corporation. Comcast Center, which opened its doors in June of this year, is the tallest sustainable building in the country and is designed for LEED certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

"We knew from the outset that we wanted this building to be developed with sustainability and energy efficiency in mind," said John Gattuso, Senior Vice President & Director, National Urban Development, of Liberty Property Trust, the project developer. "Veolia Energy helped us realize both goals with both the short-term and long-term cost savings offered by district energy, a particularly attractive option considering the upcoming market deregulation."

District energy plays an integral role in Philadelphia's infrastructure. The network of underground steam pipes owned, operated and maintained by Veolia Energy, totals about 30 miles in length and serves approximately 300 customers.

"When we researched different energy sources for Comcast Center, we considered many different options and evaluated them on a variety of criteria, from utility flexibility to sustainability to construction and maintenance cost," said Scott H. Lawson, PE, LEED of PHY, Inc., Principal in Charge for the project. "We felt that it was important to provide the building operator with the ability to heat and cool the facility in the most cost effective manner. Veolia Energy provides a high ROI over the life of the building and is the only service provider that can offer the unique qualities and reduced construction costs associated with district energy. They were ultimately the best long-term solution when all factors were considered."

Steam from Veolia Energy's system is utilized for cooling as part of a hybrid chilled water plant. By introducing a steam absorption chiller, the operator can select steam as an energy source during summer months in order to decrease peak power consumption and reduce electrical demand charges.

In addition, steam from Veolia Energy's system is also used to heat building common areas and to preheat all office ventilation air. By utilizing steam in these systems, the winter peak electrical demand is effectively eliminated. Use of Veolia Energy's steam system also eliminates the need for total dependency on boilers, freeing up square footage and lessening in-house maintenance requirements.

"We are proud to work with all of the companies that collaborated to achieve the energy efficiency and sustainability goals for Comcast Center," said Bill DiCroce, SVP of Veolia Energy North America's East Region. "District energy is a tested and reliable delivery system that provides an innovative solution to Comcast Center's needs, and we look forward to partnering with them in their continued quest for environmentally friendly solutions."

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