BOSTON - Veolia Energy North America, owner and operator of the largest portfolio of district energy systems in North America, announced that it has purchased the district heating and cooling system and generation assets in Grand Rapids, Mich., from Kent County, Mich.

The new name of the business is Veolia Energy Grand Rapids LLC.The Veolia plant, located across from the Van Andel Arena, houses four industrial boilers that provide steam to more than 130 customers in downtown Grand Rapids via seven miles of steam pipe. Customers include hospitals, college campuses, cultural and exhibition centers, commercial offices, and retail store fronts.

Mayor George Heartwell said, “Veolia’s acquisition of the county’s steam system is an exciting development for downtown Grand Rapids. The investments they intend to make in order to upgrade the plant will improve its efficiency and ensure that a valuable and sustainable resource remains available for downtown businesses for many years into the future.”

Stewart A. Wood, CEO of Veolia Energy North America said, “We like Grand Rapids, as it is a vibrant city. We believe that the Grand Rapids district energy system will be a valuable economic development tool for the community, in addition to providing thermal energy in an efficient manner. We have a lot of capacity at the central plant and our goal is to expand our customer base to efficiently utilize that capacity.”

Keith Oldewurtel has been named vice president and general manager of Veolia Energy Grand Rapids LLC.

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Publication date:12/22/2008