Austin Energy, a municipal utility, relied on FVB Energy to evaluate the opportunities and benefits of diversification into the district energy business. Our work in Austin started in 1995 with a preliminary feasibility study of district cooling, district heating and combined heat and power. Although district heating and combined heat and power appeared viable only under unique circumstances, we identified over 45,000 tons of potential cooling load in a relatively small downtown core area and determined that district cooling was a potentially viable business opportunity. FVB Energy analyzed the advantages and economics of alternative chiller and thermal energy storage technologies and distribution pumping designs. We assisted Austin Energy in developing a marketing approach and customer service contract, and provided advice on system planning, plant design, load forecasting, staff training, business planning and organizational issues. Today Austin Energy has the capability to provide 9,000 tons downtown and 16,500 tons at a high technology park in north central Austin, and has plans to construct additional plants.