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Bridgeport Wins National Environmental Award For Innovative Thermal Loop

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, third from right, accepts a national environmental award for the city's thermal loop project.
Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim, third from right, accepts a national environmental award for the city's thermal loop project. Photo Credit: Contributed photo

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The City of Bridgeport won a national award and a $10,000 grant from the U.S. Conference of Mayors for its innovative thermal heating district serving downtown and the University of Bridgeport.

Mayor Joe Ganim accepted the honorable mention for the 2016 Mayor’s Climate Protection Award at a ceremony in Indianapolis on Friday.

“Climate change represents a significant risk to cities like Bridgeport that are situated in coastal areas,” Ganim said. “We must use all of our creativity and resources – both in the public sector and in partnership with business – to reverse the effects of carbon emissions and rising sea levels."

Designed in partnership with NuPower Thermal, the so-called thermal loop project uses waste heat from the Wheelabrator waste-to-energy plant as well as recently installed fuel cells to create hot water for space heating, turning waste into a sustainable and affordable heat source.

Bridgeport was recognized in the large city category. The winner was Richmond, Va., Mayor Dwight Jones for the city’s green sustainability and energy management program.

Bridgeport's thermal loop project reduces the carbon footprint of the buildings in its heating district and makes them less reliant on carbon fuels and more energy efficient. It also represents about $45 million in direct and indirect economic benefits, new tax revenue and the creation of several construction jobs and cost savings for residents and business owners.

The carbon footprint of every building connected to the thermal heating district is expected to decline by 80 percent.

The United Nations Environmental Program has recognized Bridgeport’s Thermal Loop Project as one of the most cost-effective solutions to the problem of climate change.

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