Metro Nashville and Davidson County, TN – Developing District Energy System

As a result of GBB’s comprehensive solid waste management analysis for the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Metro), Metro selected the alternative of replacing its aging and inefficient waste-to-energy Nashville Thermal Transfer Corporation facility (“Thermal”) with a new District Energy System in downtown Nashville. GBB was retained by Metro to manage the procurement process for selecting a contractor to design, build and operate the new Energy system. GBB prepared the Request for Proposals, assisted Metro in evaluating the proposers, negotiated a successful contract with the selected proposer, and managed the implementation of the project.

GBB also was the lead consultant in the feasibility study leading to the successful financing of $66.7 million in bonds to finance, in part, the construction of the new 43,450 square foot, two-story building housing the highly efficient steam and chilled water generating facility.

Construction photoThe new facility, which began operating in December 2003, was implemented with several important objectives in mind:

  • To utilize state-of-the-art equipment and its high reliability;
  • To keep costs as reasonable as possible and very predictable to DES customers;
  • To be an attractive facility, both visually and to the environment;
  • To be a positive catalyst for economic stability and growth in downtown Nashville.

On April 19, 2004, the Nashville Thermal Transfer Corporation formally turned over the 30-year-old Thermal Waste-to-Energy plant to Anderson Excavating Company of Omaha, Nebraska, for complete demolition.

Nashville District Energy System

Thermal Waste-to-Energy plant demolition
May 12, 2004

The overall demolition process was managed by GBB. One of the unique aspects of the “dismantling of Thermal” was an auction process of Thermal’s fixed and used mobile equipment and parts. Over 150 auction transactions for the resale and reuse of used equipment brought $983,362 to the Metro Nashville government, owner of the Thermal assets, reducing the overall cost to close Thermal.

The five-month project included the implosion of the large 200 foot concrete stack on July 26, 2004. Approximately 98.5% of the materials within the demolished structures were recycled as crushed concrete aggregate, crushed asphalt and metals.

Nashville District Energy System

Toppling of the Thermal Transfer
Plant’s cooling stack.
July 26, 2004

GBB served as Metro’s Project Administrator, from beginning through February 2007, overseeing all phases of the project, including adding new customers and the transition and closing of Thermal.

Related News:

Metro Nashville District Energy System Wins Two IDEA Awards

The International District Energy Association presented awards to those systems with the greatest amount of total square footage and the greatest number of buildings brought to service in 2003. The Metro Nashville District Energy System (DES) operated by Constellation Nashville District Energy, LLC was presented with two awards:
• IDEA Gold Award – Buildings signed up for service in 2003 (39 buildings)
• IDEA Silver Award – Square footage signed up in 2003 (Approx 8 million)

Bill Drewery (Director of Business Development, Constellation Energy Source, Inc.) and Harvey Gershman (who serves as Metro Nashville DES Project Administrator and GBB President) were called up to receive the plaques at the 2004 IDEA annual awards luncheon, held last month in Seattle. The DES is owned by the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County (Metro).

Metro Nashville District Energy System Wins System-of-the-Year Award

DES and Constellation Energy Project & Services Group Inc. (CEPS) have been recognized with the prestigious System-of-the-Year Award by the International District Energy Association (IDEA). GBB President Harvey Gershman, DES Project Administrator, accepted the award, along with Metro Nashville and CEPS officials, during the association’s 97th Annual Conference & Trade Show ceremonies in Nashville, TN.

Nashville Project Recognized with 2005 Public-Private Partnership Award

Metro has been recognized with a prestigious award by the National Council for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP) for its successful partnership with Constellation Energy Projects & Services Group (CEPS) in development of the new DES. GBB President Harvey Gershman, DES Project Administrator, accepted the award on behalf of Metro during an awards banquet held on November 16, 2005, in Alexandria, VA.


“I would like to take this opportunity to let you [Harvey Gershman – Metro Nashville DES Project Administrator and GBB President] and know how much I appreciated how you and your organization handled the transition from the old Thermal plant to the new District Energy System.

There were several aspects of the process that were done particularly well. First and foremost the communication from you to us, the customer, was consistently timely and thorough.

I absolutely appreciated the customer meetings that you hosted that gave us a voice in the decisions concerning service interruption scheduling. Once a decision had been made to schedule the interruption of service, you always stayed inside your time estimates. That was most impressive and pleasantly surprising.

I would also like to commend Mr.Chuck Tucker. He and I spoke often throughout the process. He came to the Ryman and met with me and my maintenance staff and showed us the step-by-step process of shutting ourselves down prior to the service interruption and the reverse process for the restoration of service for both the steam and the chill water. It was very reassuring to know that Chuck was out there on the job.

In the aftermath of the transition, we have had nothing but flawless service. You can count Ryman Auditorium as a “satisfied customer””

Bob O’Neal
Operations Manager
Ryman Auditorium
Nashville, Tennessee

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