Duke will build a new plant to keep cool.
Construction on Duke's third water cooling plant, or Chiller Plant No. 3, will begin in January 2019. It will be located on Anderson Street and the construction is expected to conclude in December 2020, according to a University news release.
Underground work to connect the plant to existing systems began this week.
The utility work to install underground pipes beginning this week began the first of several parking adjustments due to the construction.
Last Saturday, the parking lots behind apartments at Yearby Avenue and Lewis Street closed, and are expected to reopen early 2019. However, the underground pipe work will require more parking adjustments around Flowers Drive and the Sarah P. Duke Gardens.
Other parking options will be available on Central Campus.
The Board of Trustees approved construction for the plant in September, given that new construction projects will increase demand on Duke's central chilled water system.
Expansions to the Duke University Hospital and the new engineering building on West Campus will require cooling systems and chilled water systems that are efficient, the release said.
“Chilled water is a big energy saver,” Stephen Carrow, project manager with the facilities management department, said to Duke Today. “It takes half the energy to cool buildings with a central system than it does with a standalone system per building.”
With more efficient chilled water pumping and reduced system pressure, Duke estimates that the University will save $50,000 annually on electricity costs. The facility will have chillers, cooling towers, storage buildings and more expansion space.
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