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West Haymarket Central Utility Plant dedicated



LINCOLN – Mayor Chris Beutler and representatives of the city of Lincoln, Lancaster County, District Energy Corporation and Lincoln Electric System today (5/14) dedicated the West Haymarket Central Utility Plant. The plant provides thermal energy services to the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency, whose customers include Pinnacle Bank Arena, shops, apartments, condominiums, hotels and office spaces in Lincoln’s West Haymarket district.

Construction of the plant began in February 2012. The state-of-the-art facility entered commercial operation Sept. 1, 2013. LES, which provides management services to DEC, coordinated the design and construction.


Doug Bantam, LES’ chief operating officer and DEC administrator, said the plant is able to deliver reliable heating and cooling to customers at economical costs. “Because of built-in efficiencies and the ability to reduce electrical demand, the project benefits all Lincoln-area citizens because the savings are ultimately passed on to them,” he said.


“I want to thank the District Energy Corporation and Lincoln Electric System for working with the city and the West Haymarket JPA on this great addition to our community,” Mayor Chris Beutler said. “This environmentally responsible plant plays a central role in supporting the continued growth of the area. And by helping to keep electricity costs low, we can continue to attract even more employers to our Lincoln.”


“This project is significant,” said Larry Hudkins, county commissioner and president of the DEC Board of Directors. “District Energy Corporation worked hard to ensure we were ready to serve our new West Haymarket customers as their projects were completed, and we are proud our services provide multiple benefits to both our customers and the community. What we do may be behind the scenes, but the impact is noteworthy.”

Dan Dixon, LES supervisor, Inter-Local projects and DEC project manager, said building owners, developers and the community benefit because the Central Utility Plant houses all of the equipment needed to serve its customers, eliminating the need for on-site chillers at each participating facility. “This reduces energy demand and use while increasing usable building space.” In addition, Dixon noted the plant’s boilers and chillers are more efficient than the equipment typically installed in similar facilities. This reduces the amount of fossil fuels burned.


The Central Utility Plant was completed on time and within budget. It consists of four 1,200-ton chillers (enough capacity to cool 2,400 typical residential homes) and 16 boilers (12 gas and four electric) that readily can be staged on and off to meet the area’s heating demand. It was designed for possible expansion and is capable of serving more than 1 million square feet of customer space. The plant joins three other DEC facilities: 

  • The Lancaster County Adult Detention Facility Thermal Energy Facility, which provides heating and cooling service and emergency electrical service to the 700-bed Lancaster County Adult Detention Facility.

  • The 14th & K Street Plant, which provides high-pressure steam to heat the Nebraska State Office building, State Capitol and the State Administration Office.

  • The 9th & K Street Plant, which provides heating and cooling service to the Lancaster County and city of Lincoln government complex.



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