ATLANTA, GA — Southern Company Energy Solutions, a unit of the Southern Company, and Atlantic Station, a new residential/commercial development, have partnered to create one of the Southeast’s largest district cooling systems.

The central plant is expected to save building owners over $35 million in construction costs, while operating more than 25% more efficiently than traditional building HVAC systems, the companies say. This will result in lower energy bills for tenants. The district cooling system will also reduce building maintenance, the companies report, and save the square footage required for conventional building cooling systems.

“In traditional construction, the chiller (which provides cool air) is typically the largest energy load in any given building. Each building, and even individual segments of buildings, usually have separate cooling systems,” noted Jim Jacoby, chairman of Atlantic Station.

“By planning appropriately on the front end — before construction even begins — we will be able to develop an efficient infrastructure that provides environmental and economic benefits to those who live, work, and play at Atlantic Station.”

A two-mile-long network of pipes will supply chilled water from a 50,000-square-foot central cooling plant to residential, retail, and office buildings as they are constructed at the 140-acre development. Approximately 40,000 gallons of chilled water per minute will be circulated at peak times to control building temperatures.

“This partnership will not only serve as a role model for other developments, but it provides another opportunity for us to produce energy, while having the least impact on the environment,” stated Mike Ellis, vice president of Southern Company Energy Solutions.

The Atlantic Station is a redevelopment of the former Atlantic Steel Mill property in Atlanta and is scheduled to open in the fall of 2003.

Publication date: 06/24/2002