District Energy System Study and Implementation (Metropolitan Nashville, Tennessee)

DES logoAs 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 was also the lead consultant in the feasibility study leading to the successful financing of $66.7 million in bonds to finance, of part, the construction of a new 43,450 square foot, two-story building to house the highly efficient steam and chilled water generating facility which began operating in December 2003.

The Metro Nashville District Energy System provides heating and cooling to nearly 40 buildings in downtown Nashville. The facility operates nine chillers and four boilers, and has the capacity to provide 23,400 tons of chilled water for cooling and 260,000 pounds of steam for heating. The Nashville Thermal Transfer Corporation formally turned over the 30-year-old Thermal Waste-to-Energy plant for complete demolition. The overall demolition process was managed by GBB. GBB also served as Metro’s Project Administrator, overseeing all phases of the project, including management of the District Energy System, financial and system planning, customer service, adding new customers and the transition and closing of Thermal.

District Energy System Public Information Program

DES brochure imageAs Project Administrator for the redevelopment of the district energy system (DES), GBB designed and oversaw the implementation of a public information campaign to communicate information about the development of the new DES and to convey a positive public image for the new facility.  GBB’s efforts included creating a logo for the facility, creating DES web content that could be incorporated into Metro’s official website, publishing a general informational brochure about the new DES, and publishing periodic newsletters distributed in both hard copy and electronic format to interested parties.  Throughout this process, GBB worked closely with graphic design and public relations sub-consultants in identifying and creating pieces necessary to establish a positive image for the new DES.

District Energy System Project Administration Services

GBB also served as Metro’s Project Administrator to oversee all phases of the project. GBB led a team of advisors in providing the Metro Nashville DES Project Administration Services from the time transition activities initiated toward the end of construction of the Energy Generation Facility (EGF) and new Energy Distribution System (EDS) interconnection.

The GBB Team provided acceptance testing monitoring and a full range of project administration services during the commercial operations period. GBB was responsible for overseeing the use of the remaining amounts of the 2002A Bonds, the use of the 2005B Bonds; and establishing and tracking budgets. The GBB team also monitored and oversaw services provided to DES customers by CEPS. Additionally, the GBB team was instrumental in helping secure several new customers to the DES to include the Sun Trust Bank Building, Metro New Library, Metro Hume Fogg School, Viridian Tower, the new Schermerhorn Concert Hall, and the new Metro A.A. Birch Courthouse. As required, GBB team services included contract negotiations, design and construction monitoring of the interconnections as well.

During GBB’s tenure as Project Administrator, the Metro Nashville DES has received several awards demonstrating its excellence. These awards include:

  • International District Energy Association (IDEA) Public Sector Leadership Award to Mayor Bill Purcell;
  • IDEA System-of-the-Year Award;
  • National Council for Public-Private Partnerships Public-Private Partnership Award;
  • American Council of Engineering Companies of Tennessee Grand Award for Engineering Excellence;
  • IDEA Gold Award for Total Buildings Committed; and
  • IDEA Silver Award for Total Square Footage