A View From Veolia:
Q&A with Stewart Wood
Editor’s Note: In 2007 Veolia Energy
North America acquired Thermal North
America, Inc. and its Trigen district heating
and cooling systems, some of the nation’s
largest. District Energy checked in with
Stewart A. Wood, Veolia Energy North
America president and chief executive
officer, for an update on the systems and
his thoughts about the industry.
Q. It has been almost two years since
Veolia Energy North America completed
its acquisition of the Trigen systems.
Please provide a brief update on the
systems and any new initiatives that
may be under way in those locations.
A. Since we acquired Thermal North
America, Inc. (TNAI) in late 2007, we have
made a concerted effort to ensure that
the Trigen district energy systems owned
by TNAI are managed to the highest
industry standards and that much-needed
maintenance work was carried out, as we
had committed to regulators. In addition,
we have invested capital to upgrade the
multiple systems with two clear objectives:
improve safety or improve efficiency. As
a result, the systems are more efficient
and effective for our customers first and
foremost, but we have also greatly
improved the working environment.
Stewart A. Wood, president and chief executive
officer, Veolia Energy North America.
Our commitment to improvement
also extends to facilities we have added
since the TNAI acquisition. At our Grand
Rapids network, which we acquired in
late 2008, we are undergoing a series of
upgrades and have overhauled the operational process to increase overall system
efficiency (see p. 31). Our core business is
energy efficiency, and our efforts in
Grand Rapids and elsewhere will help
ensure competitive rates for our customers
ment BOK Center.
as well as reduce the carbon footprint.
Courtesy Veolia Energy North America.
Throughout the U.S. market, we have
continued to add new customers to existing networks, enabling us to expand our
reach and ensure the cost-effectiveness
of our services. Here are some recent
examples: In Baltimore, we are working
with H&S Properties to provide district
energy services to the developer’s new
Four Seasons Hotel and Legg Mason towers.
In Boston, we recently added the new
Equinox Fitness club to our downtown
network. In Tulsa, we have renewed and
expanded our contract with the Williams
Center Towers, two of the city’s most
prominent skyscrapers, and connected
the new 19,000-seat sports and entertain-
Q. What type of work is the company
performing ‘beyond the meter’ in customer buildings? And what are the benefits to the systems and their customers?
A. Beyond-the-meter services are also
part of our core business. While we often
lead with the production and distribution
of thermal energy, our solutions are
designed to enhance the economic, technical and environmental performance of
all complex systems and equipment within
buildings. Energy optimization requires a