Ameresco Wins Michigan School District ESPC

August 22, 2012 By Jennifer Hermes

Energy efficiency and renewable energy company Ameresco has started work on an energy savings performance contract with Ovid-Elsie Area Schools in central Michigan.

The $1.1 million ESPC is expected to save the schools more than $85,000 annually, and includes facility improvements at all of the schools’ locations.

Located in the middle of the state between Grand Rapids and Detroit, the Ovid-Elsie Area Schools serves 1,700 students. The comprehensive energy project includes upgrades to four schools – Leonard Elementary School, E. Knight Elementary School, Ovid-Elsie Middle School, and Ovid-Elsie High School – and the administration building.

Upgrades include the installations of new lighting, an energy management system, new high efficiency boilers, insulation improvements, water conservation upgrades including new plumbing, and a new ceiling grid aimed at reducing echo, improving lighting and providing energy savings.

To finance this project, Ovid-Elsie Area Schools took advantage of Qualified Zone Academy Bonds, which provide the schools with a near-zero percent interest rate. Under an ESPC, Ameresco guarantees the energy cost savings for the duration of the contract, which will repay the upfront costs with a portion of their projected annual savings over the contract’s 15 years.

In March, Ameresco announced that it had signed an energy savings performance contract with the McAllen Independent School District in Texas. The contract covered upgrades to 39 McAllen facilities. Once complete, the measures are expected to save the school district more than $1.2 million annually over the term of the contract and eliminate the production of 6,498 tons of carbon dioxide each year.

April saw the company win an ESPC from the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada. Under the contract, Ameresco is to install more than $4.5 million of improvements at the facility. The infrastructure improvements made at UMC will save the facility more than $200,000 in energy costs each year, the companies say.

ESPCs are a key plank of the Obama administration’s recent directive to reduce energy costs in agency facilities.

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