Metro Nashville District Energy System

Large Project, Large Chillers

Trane provides chillers for one of the world’s largest district cooling systems.


The Metro Nashville District Energy System (DES) has provided heating and cooling to downtown Nashville buildings for nearly 30 years using a trash-burning plant. In recent years the plant became less reliable and did not have the capacity to meet growing demand. Despite efforts to maintain reliability and safety, and increase capacity, the facility struggled to remain economically and environmentally viable.


The Nashville Metro Council retained Constellation Energy Projects & Services Group (CEPS) to design, develop and operate a new state-of-the-art $46 million district energy system. CEPS is a member of Constellation Energy, a Fortune 200 company with combined 2005 revenues of $17.1 billion. CEPS worked to increase the interim efficiency of the old plant while constructing the new, providing a smooth transition for customers. The plan called for installation of nine 2600-ton Trane Duplex centrifugal chillers using Trane’s EarthWise™ design concepts to maximize efficiency. These chillers operate at some of the highest efficiency levels available in the industry. The Trane EarthWise™ system uses lower temperature chilled water and reduced condenser water flow rates to deliver high efficiency from the entire chilled water system. Lower temperature allows use of smaller pumps and piping, reducing installed costs and overall energy consumption.


The new DES facility began operating in December, 2003- seven months ahead of schedule - delivering reliable, efficient heating and cooling to 41 downtown buildings. According to CEPS, the new plant is expected to save the City of Nashville about $66 million in energy costs over the next decade.

John Schaeffer, CEPS Vice President of Operations, said, "The DES provides an opportunity for developers to use an alternate approach to providing heating and cooling for buildings that are being constructed within the downtown district. Trane chillers were used because of their high efficiency, reliable design, ease of maintenance and ability to deliver low leaving water temperature."

From integrated comfort systems to systems management and climate controls, Trane ensures your building environment is right so you can run your business better.


About Metro Nashville District Energy System

The Metro Nashville District Energy System (DES) serves 41 downtown buildings, including the State Capitol and 14 government buildings, Tennessee Titans football stadium, Gaylord Entertainment Center, Nashville Predators hockey arena and many office buildings and hotels. Steam and chilled water are pumped to the buildings through 26,000 feet of underground pipes. The plant provides 23,400 tons of chilled water for cooling and 260,000 pounds of steam for heating. The largest pipe is 42 inches in diameter. Up to 42,000 gallons of chilled water are pumped through the system each minute. Nearly 100 percent of the chilled water is recycled. Seventy percent of the water used for steam is recycled.