Consortium partners combine renewable technology assets to provide campus a unique low-carbon energy system using wastewater from nearby pipelines
LOS ANGELES and DENVER (August 6, 2020) – AECOM, the world’s premier infrastructure firm, today announces that EAS Energy Partners (EAS), a consortium led by Enwave Energy Corporation, completed a landmark renewable energy project partnership for the National Western Center in Denver, Colorado. Enwave’s “Sewer Heat Recovery system,” an innovative technology that heats and cools buildings with recycled thermal energy from nearby pipelines, will be the largest clean technology system of its kind in North America.
Increasingly, modern campuses, municipalities, and districts are looking for sustainable energy solutions to harness both environmental and economic benefits. This new district energy technology, custom-built for the National Western Center, an urban campus intended as a year-round global destination for agriculture, western heritage and culture, will help the center meet its ambitious clean energy goals. As Enwave’s first project in this region, it symbolizes the company’s rapid expansion and success in new cities across North America.
Enwave’s novel technology will contribute to the city of Denver’s climate action plan to reduce carbon emissions. Using Enwave’s system, the 250-acre campus will avoid emitting an estimated 2,600 metric tons of carbon (CO2) per year — the equivalent of eliminating 6.6 million vehicle passenger miles driven in Denver annually — and will promote better air quality and health for the surrounding neighborhoods. The benefits of this system include high efficiency, lower capital costs, and a reliable and resilient energy source during outages.
EAS is the National Western Center’s official energy partner. It includes Enwave, the largest core-competency district energy provider in North America, AECOM Technical Services Inc., and Denver-based Saunders Construction. AECOM and Saunders formed a design-build joint venture to design and deliver the project. This combination uses AECOM’s design expertise and specialist abilities in energy master planning and sewer heat recovery and Saunders’ well-established competence in this type of construction in the Denver area. EAS is responsible for delivering local district and renewable energy solutions and maintaining their long-term operations and efficiency.
How Sewer Heat Recovery Works
The planned system uses both sewer-heat recovery and a district energy approach. Enwave’s system will pull thermal energy from nearby sewer pipes to source nearly 90 percent of the campus’s heating and cooling. A heat pump will capture the warmth of wastewater and transfer it to a clean water pipe that enters individual buildings. It is a closed-loop system, meaning the wastewater does not touch the clean water. District energy systems then pump warm water from a central plant to a group of buildings, instead of each building having its own heating and cooling system
For more information about how the system operates, please see the National Western Center’s site here.
“We’re excited to be part of a team that will establish the National Western Center as a world class, innovative, and educational destination – one that will actively contribute to revitalizing the local area with new jobs, educational programs and activities to engage the community and improve the economic opportunities around this site.” —Annika Moman, Senior Vice President, AECOM Energy
“We made a promise to be at the forefront of sustainability, and we’re delivering. Knowing we’ll have to heat and cool our buildings one way or another, we chose an innovative, clean-energy system that virtually makes something from nothing.” —Brad Buchanan, CEO, National Western Center
“We believe in the power of more sustainable cities, and we know working with partners such as the National Western Center with a shared commitment to climate action and innovation is the key to building this future. Our sewer heat recovery technology will enable the campus to meet its ambitious clean energy goals. This a testament to Enwave’s capacity to develop innovative, resilient and financially feasible low-carbon solutions.” —Doug Castleberry, President and Chief Operating Officer, Enwave USA.
“The National Western Center Campus Energy project is a big step forward in meeting Denver’s Climate Action Task Force’s goals of reducing the City’s emissions to zero by 2040. As a Colorado-headquartered business, we are proud to be part of developing and constructing this innovative, highly sustainable project.” —Justin Cooper, President, Saunders Construction
AECOM is the world’s premier infrastructure firm, delivering professional services throughout the project lifecycle – from planning, design and engineering to consulting and construction management. We partner with our clients in the public and private sectors to solve their most complex challenges and build legacies for generations to come. On projects spanning transportation, buildings, water, governments, energy and the environment, our teams are driven by a common purpose to deliver a better world. AECOM is a Fortune 500 firm with revenue of approximately $20.2 billion during fiscal year 2019. See how we deliver what others can only imagine at aecom.com and @AECOM.
About the National Western Center
The National Western Center is a year-round, global destination for ag and food innovation, western heritage and culture that will open in Denver in 2024. Learn more at nationalwesterncenter.com.
As the largest core-competency district energy provider in North America, Enwave Energy Corporation is an industry leader that provides innovative, sustainable energy solutions. A private corporation owned by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners and its institutional partners, Enwave has assets in Toronto, Chicago, New Orleans, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Windsor, London and Charlottetown, operating intelligent thermal energy systems that generate, store and share energy.
Saunders is an employee-owned corporation headquartered in Colorado, primarily performing construction management/general contracting (CM/GC) work in the Rocky Mountain region. Founded in 1972, Saunders provides integrated CM/GC, design-build, and commercial real estate development services to a variety of market segments. Saunders is dedicated to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and recognizes that investing in employees, focusing on safety, improving business processes and reducing environmental impact adds value to the industry. For additional information, please visit www.saundersinc.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Director, External Communications, DCS Americas