District Cooling Plant #3

District Cooling for Downtown Austin

District Cooling Plant #3 rendering

What is District Cooling?

A district cooling system provides an efficient and environmentally-friendly way to cool multiple buildings. District cooling systems are common in major cities in this country and throughout the world, particularly in cities that boast a dense urban core.

District Cooling Plant #3 in Downtown Austin

As Austin’s downtown continues to grow, Austin Energy is working to increase the number of downtown buildings that can use chilled water for their air conditioning systems.

Austin Energy has begun construction on a new district cooling plant at 812 West 2nd Street (also known as Electric Drive) adjacent to the Gables Park Tower and the future Bowie Underpass in Austin’s Downtown Seaholm EcoDistrict. The project makes use of a small, infill parcel that is considered undevelopable for other uses, and creates a municipal purpose that serves the public downtown.

The downtown District Cooling Plant #3 (DCP3) will provide an additional 10,000 tons of cooling capacity utilizing 4-2,500 ton water cooled centrifugal chillers and nine cooling tower cells. This third downtown plant will allow Austin Energy to expand chilled water services to Austin’s burgeoning downtown development and increase the efficiency, redundancy, and reliability of the overall system.

Project Timeline

  • June 2012 – Austin City Council amended Seaholm Master Development agreement and directs that property be used for chilled water infrastructure.
  • January 2014 – Austin City Council rezoned property to P (Public), the designation for a governmental, civic, public purpose, or public institution use.
  • June 2015 – Austin City Council approved design/engineering consultant contract for project.
  • May 2017 – Austin City Council approved agreement with artist Beili Liu to design Art in Public Places artwork for project.
  • Spring 2018 – Austin City Council approved construction contract.
  • Summer 2018 – Construction began on District Cooling Plant #3.
  • Summer 2020 – Art in Public Places and artist Beili Liu will install Cloud Pavilion on the south end of the site facing Electric Drive.
  • Summer 2021 – District Cooling Plant #3 will be operational.

Learn More

Contact Us

Follow Us

Learn More

Date last reviewed or modified: 7/7/20


Follow Us