Press release: GRCC Board of Trustees approve new energy plan



Leah Nixon

Director of Communications


May 20, 2013 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Community College Board of Trustees today approved a plan designed to retire the college’s current boiler plant and tap Veolia Energy’s nearby district steam system. The plan is outlined in a 15-year contract under which Veolia will provide steam for campus heating, hot water and air conditioning for nine GRCC buildings.

The partnership will enhance efforts already underway by the college, including LEED qualified renovation and construction projects, light bulb replacement and utility credit initiatives, and implementation of a print management system for paper reduction, among other items. As Veolia officials and GRCC representatives configure the plan’s proposed implementation, it is expected that this strategy will reduce the college’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of removing 85 cars from the road each year.

“Grand Rapids Community College is committed to furthering its ongoing sustainability efforts so that we are reducing the college’s carbon footprint on our community,” said GRCC President Dr. Steven C. Ender. “As well as enhancing the college’s green-energy efforts, the plan is expected to reduce facility operation expenses by more than $850,000 during the life of the contract. Our partnership with Veolia Energy makes good sense financially, and is a great way to maintain our goal of being an eco-friendly community institution.”

This will not be the first higher education partnership for Veolia Energy. The company has provided cost-effective infrastructure improvements, technical support and energy solutions for Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Western Michigan University, Grand Valley State University and Cooley Law School – all of which have facilities in downtown Grand Rapids.

Veolia Energy’s Great Lakes headquarters is located in downtown Grand Rapids, where the company maintains seven miles of pipeline that support steam production throughout the city’s urban core.

“GRCC is showing great leadership by acting on its stated desires to improve both energy management and long-term capital planning,” said Jim Monterusso, General Manager, Veolia Energy. “Our firm operates on a model of resource stewardship and sustainability. We see this agreement as an opportunity to not only strengthen our existing relationships downtown, but also provide leverage as we bring additional energy products and services to West Michigan.”

Grand Rapids Community College, established in 1914, offers opportunities for more than 30,000 students annually in degree courses, certification and training programs, workshops, and personal enrichment classes. GRCC holds classes on the downtown Grand Rapids campus as well as several locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.


About Veolia Energy

Based in Boston, MA, Veolia Energy North America is a leading U.S. operator and developer of efficient energy solutions. Veolia Energy's district energy business operations represent the largest portfolio of efficient heating, cooling, and green steam networks in North America. Veolia Energy Solutions, the company's O&M and energy consulting business, operates and maintains energy infrastructure in industrial plants and within commercial buildings; designs, builds, operates and maintains socially responsible, local energy production assets such as combined heat and power (CHP) and renewable energy plants; and provides strategic advisory and engineering services through its SourceOne subsidiary. Visit the company's Web sites at and