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FDA HQ to get $213m Energy Efficiency Refit

The largest ever Energy Savings Perfomance Contract has been awarded to Honeywell International who will aim to make the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s White Oak research center in Silver Spring, Md., into a “model of energy efficiency,” the U.S. Department of Energy has announced.

The contract, awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA) to Honeywell International, will use avoided energy costs to leverage private-sector investment to pay for the $213 million project, which will support the equivalent of 2,300 jobs for a year.

This project should save more that 5.5 billion British Thermal Units of energy over the 20-year life of the project. This is equivalent to the energy delivered to over 134,000 homes for a year. In the first year alone, the project will save more than $25 million in energy and avoided operations and maintenance costs, according the Energy Department.

ESPCs are designed to help the federal government conserve energy and water and increase the use of clean renewable energy without adding to the national deficit. An ESPC is a partnership between a federal agency and an energy service company. The energy company conducts a comprehensive energy audit for the federal facility and identifies improvements to save energy. In consultation with the federal agency, the energy company designs and constructs a project that meets the agency’s needs and arranges the necessary financing. The energy company guarantees that the improvements will generate energy cost savings sufficient to pay for the project over the term of the contract. After the contract ends, all additional cost savings accrue to the agency.

The refit will include the installation at the Silver Spring center of a combined heat and power plant that will produce electricity for the laboratory needs of FDA and uses waste heat to produce building heating and cooling.

The construction will be complete in 2014 and will produce 250,000 megawatt hours per year. In addition to the combined heat and power plant, the project will include upgrades to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, improvements to lighting — including the use of LED technology — and modifications to the building envelope to make it more energy efficient.

When the impact of electricity generation by the utility is taken into account, all of the energy conservation measures will result in energy savings of at least 279 billion Btu per year for 20 years— equivalent to removing more than 4,000 cars from the road each year.

The Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity ESPC contracts are administered by the Energy Department and are available to all federal agencies. The department provides the expertise for both technical and financial aspects throughout the development of each project. The federal government is the largest single user of energy in the United States, and ESPCs provide federal agencies with access to alternative financing at a scale that is needed to meet the challenge of boosting the use of renewable energy and reducing energy and water consumption.

In 2007 Honeywell won another ESPC aimed at reducing energy costs at the White Oak facility.

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