State and Local Policy Database

Efficient Distributed Energy Systems

District energy and combined heat and power (CHP) systems offer opportunities for communities to dramatically decrease the energy used in buildings and energy intensive processes. Buildings served by a district energy system often do not need their own heating and cooling equipment, and instead rely on efficient generation serving larger populations. When combined with CHP, also known as cogeneration, district energy systems can also offer an efficient source of electricity that is highly reliable. While many district energy and CHP systems are privately owned, cities can help foster this infrastructure through policy.

This sub-category includes information on three topics: total megawatts of CHP capacity in the city (from the Combined Heat and Power Installation Database); number of district energy systems which integrate CHP in the city (from IDEA); level of planning undertaken for future district energy systems with CHP.

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

There are currently no district energy systems in Arlington County, however, the Community Energy Plan calls for the development of 450MW of district energy by 2050.  Additionally, Arlington County has mapped the energy density of the whole community to identify areas for potential district energy systems.

Last updated: May 2017

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Aurora hosts three community solar systems on city property. 

Last updated: March 2020

Austin Energy operates the Downtown Central Business Cooling Plant and Mueller Redevelopment Cooling, Heating, and Power Plant. In 2014, the utility integrated an energy storage system into the plant. Austin Energy also offers residential customers the option to enroll in a community solar program.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The City of Boise operates a direct use geothermal district heating system that provides steam to 90 downtown buildings.

Last updated: June 2020

Through Boston Planning and Development Agency’s (BPDA) Smart Utilities Policy for Article 80 Development Review, developments over 1.5 million square feet are required to develop a Feasibility Assessment to determine the viability of district energy microgrids and combined heat and power for their project site. When deemed economically and technically feasible, developments must prepare a District Energy Master Plan to coordinate system deployment with the development schedule. Systems are expected to optimize emissions reductions, resilience, and energy cost reductions. 

Additionally, as part of Article 37 of the Boston Zoning Code, developers must submit a carbon-neutral building assessment, which includes an assessment of the feasibility of on-site solar and storage. However, these measures did not earn Boston points due to scoring methodology changes. 

Last updated: June 2020

There are no district energy systems in Boulder.  Boulder’s combined heat and power capacity is 114,000 kW, meaning that the CHP capacity per 100,000 residents is 117 MW. 

Last updated: October 2015

The City of Bridgeport established an Energy Improvement District in accordance to House Bill 7432. The Energy Improvement District is overseen by a 7-member board consisting of the city's chief administrative officer (or his/her designee), director of planning and economic development (or his/her designee), the director of public facilities (or his/her designee), and four electors or representatives of businesses within the boundaries of the district.

Last updated: March 2020

The City of Buffalo operates a district heating system that serves both public and private buildings. The city recently completed a feasibility study and thermal analysis for expanding the system.

Last updated: March 2020

Evergreen Energy is planning a CHP project in Burlington. 

Last updated: October 2015

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Carrboro does not have district energy systems or combined heat and power facilities.

Last updated: April 2014

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

In an agreement with Duke Energy, the city installed a microgrid at Fire Station 43, which integrates solar and battery storage.

Last updated: June 2020

There is one district energy system in Charlottesville, but we could not locate information on the system’s capacity.  Charlottesville does not have combined heat and power facilities. 

Last updated: October 2015

Chicago issued Requests for Proposals (RFP) to install solar farms on seven lots owned by the city. Some of these systems will offer community solar subscriptions.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The City of Cleveland supports two district energy systems operated by the Cleveland Thermal and Medical Center Company. The Cleveland Thermal plant was retrofitted in 2017 to incorporate natural gas combined heat and power. The city has also completed a feasibility study for a microgrid in Cleveland's downtown area, which will incorporate combined heat and power. 

Last updated: June 2020

Colorado Springs Utilities allows customers to subscribe to community solar systems.

Though not yet complete, the city intends to develop a microgrid feasibility study and action plan. The city has applied for a Colorado Department of Local Affairs’ (DOLA) Energy and Mineral Impact Assistance program grant to fund this project.  

Last updated: June 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The City of Denver and Xcel Energy signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) titled the Energy Futures Collaboration. The MOU cites microgrid deployment, district energy installation, and other approaches as integral to achieving the city’s climate and energy goals.

The city is creating a low-income solar garden located at the Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site. The city also received a $1 million grant to install community solar gardens at multiple city properties including parking lots, recreation centers, libraries, and schools. 

Last updated: July 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

There are no district energy systems in Dubuque.  Dubuque’s combined heat and power capacity is 9,000 kW, meaning that the CHP capacity per 100,000 residents is 17 MW. 

Last updated: October 2013

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Article XIV of the Hartford Municipal Code created the Energy Improvement District (EID). The purpose of the EID and its board is to enter contracts for the creation of several distributed energy resources.

Hartford's EID recently released a request for proposal for the installation of a community solar system. The EID identified battery storage as a resource that may be included in proposals. 

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Honolulu has issued a Request for Proposal for the construction of a seawater air conditioning project for city-owned buildings in the downtown area.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

JEA, Jacksonville’s municipal utility, runs the SolarMax , a solar subscription service for large commercial customers. JEA also operates solar energy systems that integrate battery energy storage. 

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

There is one district energy system in Knoxville, but we could not locate information on the system’s capacities.  Knoxville’s combined heat and power capacity is 5,000 kW, meaning that the CHP capacity per 100,000 residents is 2.8 MW.  None of the district energy systems integrate CHP.

Last updated: October 2013

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Lawrence does not have district energy systems or combined heat and power facilities.

Last updated: October 2013

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The Port of Long Beach created the Energy Island Initiative, which sets goals of consuming energy from clean sources and installing local, distributed energy with microgrid connectivity. Through the initiative, solar panels have been installed on port facilities and a microgrid is being constructed. 

Last updated: March 2020

LADWP has created a community solar pilot program. The utility has committed to installing ten megawatts of solar capacity to support the pilot. 

Last updated: June 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

There are four district energy systems serving Madison, but we could not locate information on the systems’ capacities.  Madison’s combined heat and power capacity is 187,600 kW, meaning that the CHP capacity per 100,000 residents is 80.4 MW.  One of the district energy systems integrates with CHP.

Last updated: October 2013

Madison entered into an agreement with OneEnergy Renewables to install five community solar installations totaling 14 megawatts of capacity.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

 

Last updated: March 2020

The city has supported the creation of a solar field at a closed landfill site near an Air National Guard base. The solar field will integrate with an existing microgrid at the base and provide it with power in the event of an emergency. 

A district cogeneration plant provides electricity and steam to downtown Milwaukee. 

The Harbor District Water and Land Use Plan outlines support for the installation of district cooling systems using water from Lake Michigan. 

Last updated: June 2020

The City is currently supporting (via participation and funding) an Integrated Utility Hub feasibility study for the Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment project. This study, working with partners like the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, will assess the technical and financial feasibility of the Integrated Utility Hub model and detail the environmental, social and economic performance outputs. 

The city completed a Climate and Health Resilience Hub pilot program, which included a feasibility study funded by the city on a microgrid incorporating solar photovoltaics and battery storage.

The city has engaged in developing community solar gardens.

Last updated: July 2020

Montgomery County has pursued several distributed energy resources in its community. Montgomery County houses a CHP plant at the county's Pre-Release Center in Rockville. The county also entered into a public-private partnership to install microgrids at the Public Safety Headquarters and County Correctional Facility. Montgomery County has also installed solar systems on several municipal buildings. The county has also expedited its solar permitting system. Montgomery County released an RFP for two community solar sites at Oaks Landfill.

Last updated: December 2019

The City of Nashville provided land at no cost to Nashville Electric Service, the city’s municipally-owned utility, for Music City Solar, a 2 MW community solar farm. It was completed in 2018 and is now operational. 

Last updated: July 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The New Orleans City Council opened docket UD-18-03 for rulemaking for community solar projects.

Last updated: July 2020

New York City is currently building a district heating system and microgrid at the Red Hook East and West public housing complexes that integrate combined heat and power. The city is also pursuing a microgrid at the Hunts Point Distribution Center that includes solar and energy storage. The New York City Housing Authority also grants access to community solar subscriptions through its ACCESSolar program. 

Last updated: March 2020

Newark entered into an energy performance contract to install combined heat and power into existing energy systems. 

Last updated: March 2020

The City of Oakland has partnered with University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, and NASA Ames Research Center to launch the EcoBlock pilot project. The project focuses on the block-scale efficiency of a solar-powered DC microgrid.

Though it is not a specific policy, rule, or agreement, the draft Oakland 2030 Equitable Climate Action Plan references plans to partner with East Bay Community Energy (the local community choice aggregator) to support the installation of local renewable energy (such as community solar) and energy storage. The city also offers streamlined permitting processes for residential rooftop solar systems. 

Last updated: July 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The Orlando Utility Commission offers district chilled-water cooling via OUCooling. There are several districts with access to OUCooling.

The City has partnered with Solar United Neighbors of Florida, to offer residents a solar co-op. Over 250 residents signed up in the first co-op (Aug-Nov 2019) and an expanded co-op will be offered in spring (Apr-Jul) 2020. OUC customers may also participate in the utility’s solar bulk purchasing program OUCollective or enroll in a community solar program (the city is an anchor tenant of the community solar farm). 

The City is also partnering with the Orlando Utilities Commission and the Orlando Economic Partnership to launch a 100% Renewable Energy Pledge campaign in April, 2020. This will support the demand for additional utility scale solar farms to be added to the grid mix. 

Working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Solar Energy Innovation Network, the city developed a Roadmap to 100% Renewable Energy that included analysis of rooftop solar and storage potential. This informed a Capital Improvements Projects request for five resiliency hubs, the expansion of the city's Fleet and Facilities Solar Array, and two distributed energy plus storage explorations. 

Last updated: July 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

CHP planning in Park City is conucted as part of the Georgetown University Energy Prize Assessment. 

Last updated: October 2015

PIDC entered into an agreement with Ameresco to construct a microgrid powered by fuel cells and solar energy at the Navy Yard. 

Last updated: March 2020

The Downtown Energy Center provides district chilled-water cooling to 34 buildings including the convention center and baseball stadium. The 14,000-ton capacity system uses ice produced in off-peak hours as thermal storage to provide cooling during peak demand.

Last updated: July 2020

The City of Pittsburgh currently has two district steam systems and three institutional district energy system, while the city identified four additional opportunities to install district energy systems or microgrids.  The city has also signed a Memo of Understanding with the Danish Energy and Climate Agency to develop the Pittsburgh District Energy Initiative

Last updated: March 2020

Portland's Fire Station 1 features a city-owned microgrid installation with rooftop solar and storage. The city hopes to use the lessons from this project to implement a larger, community-wide system in the future.

Last updated: July 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Provo partnered with BYU to develop a cogeneration plant that would provide the campus with most of its heating and cooling needs.

Last updated: August 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020. 

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems, though the city is investigating opportunities for residents to learn about and adopt community solar.

Last updated: July 2020

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) runs SolarShares, an off-site community solar program. SMUD offered a first round of community solar enrollment to agency and institutional partners. The City was one of the first participants, and the program now offsets 35% of municipal energy use with solar power.

Last updated: March 2020

District Energy Saint Paul is the largest district energy system in North America, and the city played a significant role in its creation. The system provides heating and cooling to most buildings in the downtown area and integrates biomass-fired cogeneration, thermal storage, and solar thermal technology. The city also supported the creation of the Energy Park district heating and cooling system, serving several million square feet of office and residential space. 

Saint Paul subscribed to a 3.2 MW community solar system and encourages residents and businesses to subscribe to community solar. 

Last updated: July 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

CPS Energy provides technical and planning assistance for residential and commercial systems, but we could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: August 2020

Seattle City Light installed a solar-plus-storage microgrid at the Miller Community Center. The utility plans to use the project as a test case to understand the resilience benefits of the system.

Seattle City Light has developed 5 Community Solar projects with cumulative generating capacity of 170 kW. 

Last updated: March 2020

The City of Springfield supported the creation of a community solar project by serving as an anchor subscriber to the project.

Last updated: March 2020

The city supports a district steam system in downtown St. Louis, powered by a natural gas cogeneration facility. 

The city is piloting a community solar program at St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Last updated: July 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Syracuse received a grant from NYSERDA for the creation of a microgrid that was integrated with combined heat and power.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.     

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

The District’s Solar for All program aims to expand access to solar power to low-income residents. The program partners with organizations to install on-site solar on single-family homes and community solar projects. For residents to be eligible for participation, household income must be less than 80% of the area median income. A 1 MW installation pursued by the Department of General Services to serve low-income households integrates energy storage.

Last updated: July 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

We could not verify if the city has adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: March 2020

Worcester received a grant from the State of Massachusetts to conduct a feasibility study for a solar-plus-storage microgrids. 

Last updated: March 2020