South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

City looking to change steam heat provider for Downtown buildings


The City of Pittsburgh has signed a letter of intent to move forward with entering into a formal energy services agreement with Clearway Community Energy (Clearway), experts in district energy, combined heat and power, and microgrids.

The letter of intent states that Clearway will work closely with the city to create a plan for transitioning its current steam service to Clearway's new district heating system.

Currently, the city's Downtown buildings are serviced by Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal (PACT), a customer-owned district heating company.

"We look forward to continuing the tradition of safely providing reliable and cost-effective service to our customers," said Ali Karvar, East Region general manager of Clearway Community Energy. "We are strongly committed to supporting the Pittsburgh community and excited for the opportunity to partner with the city."

"It is very important that Pittsburgh remain an enduring and adaptable city," said Mayor William Peduto. "We recognize Clearway's commitment to our community and feel confident about a smooth transition to their system. Most importantly, we are proud to be able to continue energy service that is both economical and environmentally-friendly."

PACT has been in talks with Clearway about a potential transfer for a few years. Following a board meeting on November 19, 2020, the PACT board of directors announced their recommendation to move forward towards negotiating the execution of a development agreement with Clearway that will result in Clearway extending its district heating system into the Golden Triangle business district.

"Signing this letter of intent is the first step after years of planning with our partners to identify a long-term, cost effective, sustainable, and resilient district energy system for our operations in the City-County Building and greater Downtown," Mayor Peduto continued.

"This agreement builds on the recommendation from PACT, our current steam provider, and an evaluation of the impacts on emissions, climate, economic cost, and system reliability for a partnership with Clearway that will allow us to continue advancing our 2030 climate objectives in a safe and affordable way. We look forward to continuing to work with the Clearway team to prepare an energy services agreement to send to City Council."


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