The district cooling network of Paris will be extended by 158 km within 20 years

Paris’ district cooling network currently covers over 86 kilometres and will be extended to 250 kilometres by 2042. It will increase the city's contribution to the carbon neutrality objective by 2050.

The district cooling network of the city of Paris is the largest in Europe: it extends over nearly 90 kilometres and serves more than 650 customers. Several Parisian buildings are air-conditioned thanks to this system (shopping centres and cultural sites). 


District cooling (DC) networks distribute chilled water at 5°C. In Paris, water from the Seine river is chilled in refrigeration plants and then distributed using pipes running through the centre and some of the western districts of the capital. Since 2011, the north-east of Paris has also benefited from the DC network since the construction of the Philharmonie de Paris, a concert hall located in the Parc de la Villette. A refrigeration plant station has been installed in the basement of the hall. At the south-east of the city, the Bercy ditrict, is also served. 


The circuit is closed with two pipes: one transports the chilled water at 5°C, and the second allows it to return to the  plants at 15°C. It then reaches a temperature of 15°C. 


The DC network also makes it possible to store energy: at night, cooling needs are lower but the refrigeration units continue to operate. The energy is then stored in basins and used during the day, when demand increases. The energy is stored in the form of frozen water in two basins, and in the form of ice at the power plant in Les Halles. 


The first 20-year concession, managed by Climespace, a corporate member of the IIR, has just ended. Climespace is a subsidiary of Engie. Engie has just won the tender to continue operating the network, in partnership with RATP. 


Over the next 20 years, the network should make it possible to cool hospitals, nurseries, schools or nursing homes, i.e. more than 300 additional buildings. The pipeline network is expected to triple: an extension of 158 kilometres is indeed planned, and the  should be able to serve all the districts of the capital. 


Since 2013, the Paris has been supplied with renewable electricity, and it has been carbon neutral since 2018. This electricity supply will remain renewable and will be produced at 70% in dedicated solar parks located in France. The project is part of the City of Paris' approach to decarbonization and adaptation to climate change. 


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