The U.S. Department of Energy has issued energy service company Ameresco final acceptance for the completion of the Savannah River Site Biomass Cogeneration Facility in Aiken, S.C., constructed under the nation’s largest energy savings performance contract worth $795 million.
Under ESPCs, new energy efficient equipment is installed at no up-front cost to the building owner, who pays for the improvements over time through savings on utility bills. The 20 MW facility (pictured) is expected to generate nearly $1 billion of energy, water, operations and maintenance savings while powering the facility over the course of the 19-year contract, Ameresco says.
The South Carolina facility includes three biomass-fueled renewable energy plants, which will generate up to half of the energy to power the facility. In the last six weeks of performance tests the project has generated 3 million kwh of energy. Ameresco expects the new facility to save 100,000 tons of carbon a year.
Earlier this month, President Obama issued a presidential memorandum which he says commits the federal government to spending $2 billion on energy upgrades to its own buildings using ESPCs.