Energy Efficiency News-in-Brief: New Contracts for Constellation and Ameresco…Support for FERC Order 745 Appeal

Feb. 24, 2015
In energy efficiency news this week, Constellation and Ameresco win new contracts, and demand response supporters push for federal court appeal.

Constellation has won a $45 million contract to provide energy efficiency, water conservation and solar photovoltaics at the Federal Correctional Complex in Coleman, Fla.

The energy savings performance contract, signed with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, guarantees savings of about $79 million over 19 years. The bureau will use the savings to fund the efficiency upgrades and a 2-MW solar project.

The efficiency measures are expected to reduce the facilities energy intensity by 35 percent and water intensity by 50 percent and cut electricity use by 18 million kWh and water use by 194 million gallons annually. This would avoid an estimated 323,000 tons of carbon dioxide over the term of the contract, according to Constellation.

The conservation measures include: high-efficiency (LED) lighting, building automation controls, chiller plant optimization, cooling tower upgrades, hot water heating system upgrades, high efficiency transformers, low-flow toilets and faucets, refrigeration upgrades and the solar array. Work is scheduled for completion in 2017.

The prison has five facilities and includes more than 2.4 million square feet of building area, housing over 7,400 inmates.


Ameresco is undertaking a $5.4 million renewal project for the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), scheduled to be complete in 2016.

The company expects the project to cut $500,000 (CAD) annually in utility costs and save 3.1 million kWh and 366 kW of electricity, 21,600 gigajoules of steam, and 5,100 cubic meters of city water each year. Ameresco estimates  carbon dioxide emissions reductions of  829 metric tons, equivalent to eliminating 160 passenger vehicles from the road annually.

Track energy efficiency news by signing up for the free Energy Efficiency Markets Newsletter.

The project involves a laboratory, a library, and an administration building at NRC’s Montreal Road Campus in Ottawa. Measures include:

  • Building automation system enhancements
  • Heating, ventilation, and cooling upgrades
  • Chiller plant optimization
  • Lighting retrofits and installation of energy-efficient lighting
  • Fume hood system renewal and fume hood exhaust heat recovery
  • Building envelope improvements

This is Ameresco’s third project with the NRC. When completed, it will bring the total utility savings for NRC to $2 million annually. In September 2008, Ameresco completed work on its first NRC project, a $3.7 million initiative resulting in annual utility savings of $483,000.  The second was a $9.3 million project, which is on-track for annual utility savings of more than $887,000, at 100 Sussex Drive in Ottawa.


The Advanced Energy Management Alliance (AEMA) and allied organizations are supporting an appeal of a controversial court decision that vacated the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) Order 745.

Brought by the Electric Power Supply Association, the court decision had dealt a blow to demand response by undercutting its payment in wholesale markets. A federal appeals court found that the states, not FERC, have jurisdiction over the resource. FERC’s Order 745 put demand response on equal footing with generation in the wholesale market — therefore allowing DR to be paid locational marginal pricing.

In mid-January, the U.S. Solicitor General filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari at the U.S. Supreme Court. At that time, EnerNOC, EnergyConnect, the PJM Industrial Customer Coalition, the Coalition of MISO Transmission Customers, and Viridity, all of whom had standing in the case, also jointly filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari in support of appeal.

In addition to AEMA, several other parties have signaled support of the appeal. Maryland, California, and Pennsylvania all jointly filed a respondent’s brief in support of the appeal, as did the California Independent System Operator. Amicus briefs in support were also filed by demand response providers, consumer advocates, utilities, environmental groups, a large state university, municipal school districts, and industrial customers and associations.

NRG, which owns more than 50,000 MW of generation, and is an EPSA member, also filed an amicus brief in support of appeal.

Follow on Twitter @EfficiencyMkts.

About the Author

Guest Post

Propane Is a Sustainable Choice for Growing Microgrid Need

July 2, 2024
Construction professionals rely on propane’s lower emissions and enhanced resiliency

Get the full report.

Solving your energy problems has never been easier for agriculture and food processors

In this white paper, you'll earn what microgrids are, how they work, how they’re funded and how they can benefit food processors and the wider agriculture industry.