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The world’s largest interconnected district cooling system

About Thermal Chicago

Thermal Chicago Corporation owns and operates the world's largest interconnected district cooling system, serving about 100 buildings in the downtown Chicago area for a contracted capacity of approximately 100,000 tons. Thermal has excess capacity currently available for sale on a first-come first-served basis.

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Diagram of Thermal Chicago’s downtown system network.

Dark blue circles designate the five plants currently in operation


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The core product offered by Thermal Chicago is chilled water. This water is purchased by its various downtown Chicago customers and is used for air-conditioning in large condominium, commercial and industrial facilities such as:

• Class A, B and C office buildings
• Condominium and apartment buildings
• Theaters
• Hotels
• Financial institutions
• Data centers
• Retail centers
• Schools

Prior to Thermal Chicago’s emergence into the Chicago market, customers provided for their own cooling requirements utilizing building-owned chilling equipment (self-cooling). As a result of Thermal Chicago’s proven reliability, the high capital costs associated with new or replacement self-cooling systems, rising energy and maintenance expenses, potential energy efficiencies due to low temperature chilled water supply and the costs associated with more stringent environmental regulation, customers have increasingly turned to Thermal Chicago’s district cooling as an alternative for both new and replacement air-conditioning systems.

Thermal Chicago also owns and operates stand-alone heating and cooling facilities at a major metropolitan airport and at a major Las Vegas casino complex. Thermal Chicago is also prepared to expand its operations in this area as well.


Thermal Chicago Corporation utilizes proven and reliable, environmentally friendly cooling technology with built-in diversity of electric supply and plant design. A state-of-the-art control and monitoring system is used to monitor conditions throughout the system and at each customer site continuously. Early warning systems are built in to Thermal Chicago’s monitoring and operational systems allowing prompt, proactive response to customer and system issues should they arise.

Operational framework

To serve the downtown Chicago area, Thermal Chicago has an agreement with the City of Chicago granting specific rights-of-way in the streets and public ways throughout the downtown area, as well as under and through various other structures.

Macquarie Infrastructure Company

The majority owner of Thermal Chicago Corporation is a subsidiary of Macquarie Infrastructure Company.

Macquarie Infrastructure Company is a publicly listed US company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MIC). The Company owns, operates and invests in a diversified group of infrastructure businesses, including Thermal Chicago Corporation. Thermal Chicago benefits from the expertise of the Macquarie group, a recognized global leader in the financing and management of infrastructure businesses.

For more information on Macquarie Infrastructure Company, please refer to the Company’s website