Thermal Chicago champions efficiency, saving money while stabilizing the electric infrastructure of an entire community

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Leveraging Demand Response helps an industrial facility efficiently provide chilled water to over 100 commercial high rise buildings

Thermal Chicago is an industrial facility that provides chilled water to over a hundred commercial high rise buildings in downtown Chicago that do not have their own chillers. The facility’s five plants are connected through a network of underground piping which sends chilled water to their customers’ buildings. They do so in ways that greatly improve energy efficiency, reduce costs, and ease load on the grid. 

Thermal Chicago makes ice at night when electricity prices and demand are lower and melts ice during the day when electricity prices and demand are higher. That melted ice is piped to their customers’ locations to air condition their buildings. By splitting their ice making and ice melting in this way, they are able to reduce their electricity consumption significantly when demand on the grid is at its most stressed. In the event of an emergency, Thermal Chicago can reduce their electricity usage by as much as 40 to 50 megawatts. 

In addition, Thermal Chicago can adjust their load up or down in response to signals from the grid in order to help the grid provide their customers with high quality power – as close to 60Hz as possible. Thermal Chicago saves money by lowering their energy costs while helping stabilize the grid and protecting the environment.

“We are a champion of green,” said Bill Dolan, Director of Engineering and Construction for Thermal Chicago. “We shift our electricity usage to make use of the most efficient and cleanest sources, while doing our part to improve the efficiency and stability of the electric infrastructure for our entire community.”
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