Energy Efficiency Deals & Projects: No Summer Vacation for the ESCOs!

July 29, 2013
It is summer vacation for a lot of people who work in the energy industry, but still the fast-growing energy efficiency market keeps producing deals and new projects. Here are a few from ESCOs and others. The State University of New York (SUNY) plans to incorporate energy-efficient information technology at its 64 campuses and make […]

It is summer vacation for a lot of people who work in the energy industry, but still the fast-growing energy efficiency market keeps producing deals and new projects. Here are a few from ESCOs and others.

The State University of New York (SUNY) plans to incorporate energy-efficient information technology at its 64 campuses and make other improvements through a program offered by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

SUNY is expected to save $1.2 million as a result of the improvements, scheduled to be finished in 2014.

NYSERDA will provide performance-based incentives through its Industrial and Process Efficiency Program.  The funds will help pay for relocating campus information systems, air conditioning replacement and upgrades, consolidation of IT services, and other measures.

The program is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Build Smart NY initiative, a strategy to cut energy use in state buildings 20 percent in seven years.

Meanwhile, efficiency stalwart Ameresco began work on a $1.6 million project for Alpena County, home of 29,396 people in northeastern Michigan. Ameresco is doing the work under an energy savings performance contract (ESPC) – an approach frequently used by Ameresco.

The company will make energy-saving changes to several buildings: the Northern Lights Arena, the county jail, courthouse, pool, fairgrounds, airport and annex, as well as Michigan Department of Correction offices.  The county is expected to save $100,000 annually from the improvements. Ameresco plans to upgrade lighting, improve the building envelope, weatherize, install water conservation measures, expand the HVAC automation system and make mechanical improvements. The schedule calls for finishing the Alpena County projects by the end of this year.

Massachusetts-based Ameresco is no stranger to Michigan. It has completed other energy efficiency projects in the state, including at the Montcalm Community College and the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools.

Ameresco also started a project in Montana at the Kalispell School District #5.  The company will make improvements totaling $3.29 million at 12 school buildings under an ESPC.   Slated to be finished by the end of 2013,  the project should save the school district $140,569 annually.

Most of the Kalispell work focuses on the HVAC system. But Ameresco also will make improvements to the interior and exterior lighting and lighting controls, as well as undertake water efficiency retrofits, building envelope improvements, boiler replacement, variable air volume conversion, variable speed pumping, temperature control systems upgrades, custom bus engine heater control system implementation, domestic hot water heater replacement, and rooftop and HVAC system replacement.

This is the Ameresco’s second ESPC in Montana. The company also recently made energy efficiency improvements and infrastructure upgrades for Lewis and Clark County.

(Note to those following Ameresco: The company plans to release its second quarter earnings August 8 with an investor call scheduled for 8:30 am ET.)

Maryland-based Lockheed Martin won a $15 million contract with the Department of State to make improvements to the US Embassy in Managua, Nicaragua that will cut energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reduce reliance on foreign energy by more than 50 percent.

The embassy expects to save $36 million by installing a one megawatt solar plant and better lighting and lighting controls, as well as improvements to the chiller plant, building automation system and transformer. This deal, too, is being done through an ESPC, and is part of a US Department of Energy program.

American DG Energy, which specializes in highly efficient combined heat and power, set a new second quarter energy production record. The company’s energy systems generated almost 25 million  kWh in the second quarter of 2013, a 55 percent increase over the same period in 2012. It was the highest second quarter production in the company’s history.

American DG’s combined heat and power systems create electricity, heat, hot water and cooling for such industries as hospitality, healthcare, housing and athletic facilities. The Massachusetts company calls its product On-Site Utility. Customers do not pay the capital or upfront costs for installation and operation. Instead, they only pay only for the energy used at a guaranteed lower cost than that provided by local utilities.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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