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District Energy

National Western Center

Denver, CA

The National Western Center (NWC) stands as a testament to innovative energy solutions, boasting North America’s most extensive District Energy wastewater recovery system as of January 2022. This impressive 3.8 MW district energy system is designed to process approximately 3,000 gallons of water per minute. At its core, two SHARC 880 units filter raw, untreated wastewater at an average rate of 3,000 GPM. This filtered wastewater then serves as a direct source for the on-site heat pump.

Situated in the heart of the American West, the NWC is more than just an energy marvel. It’s a year-round urban hub dedicated to food and agricultural discovery. The center aims to bring together individuals from diverse backgrounds, both physically and virtually, to inspire, educate, and work towards global food solutions. Remarkably, the campus will derive nearly 90% of its heating and cooling needs from recycled thermal energy sources.

In terms of sustainability, the NWC has achieved LEED Gold Certification. The district energy system’s low-profile design ensures minimal external impact on its surroundings. Moreover, the NWC project utilizes the sewer system to create a vast thermal ambient loop. Multiple buildings are connected to this loop, catering to their individual heating and cooling requirements throughout the year. The two SHARC 880 units installed not only provide 3.8MW of thermal transfer but are also rated for up to 4.6MW.

The NWC’s commitment to sustainability is further evident in its carbon reduction efforts. By harnessing wastewater energy, the center avoids approximately 2,600 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually. Additionally, the system saves 3,168,000 gallons of fresh water each year, which is comparable to five Olympic-sized swimming pools. This initiative aligns with Denver’s broader Climate Action Plan Goals and aids Metro Wastewater in reducing effluent temperatures, thereby protecting the Platte River ecosystem.

The NWC exemplifies a successful public-private partnership, with entities like Metro Wastewater, WAS Energy Partners, NWC Authority, CSU, WSSA, and the City of Denver collaboratively contributing to its success.

Customer Highlights

Site Info
Product Installed Project Type Project Size Commissioned Developer Engineer Architect
SHARC 880 System District Energy 2 Units April 2022 National Western Center - -
Application Filtered Wastewater Flowrate (GPM) Heating/Cooling Ratio Design Energy Transfer (MBH) Design Energy Transferred (MMBTU/year) Heating Cooling
Baseline Baseline Efficiency Baseline Alternate Baseline Alternate Efficiency
DHW 3,000 100% / 0% 19,750 19,750,000 Natural Gas 85% - -
Heating (DHW) Cooling
Natural gas avoided (therm/year) GHG equivalent (metric t CO2e/year) Approximate Impact Estimated water use reduction (gal/year) Evaporation reduction from cooling tower (gal/year) Blowdown reduction from cooling tower (gal/year)
Cars off Road Tree Offsetting CO2e
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