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Schools Update: University of NH Installs Solar Air Heating, Cambridge Retrofits, Montana School District Signs ESPC

July 16, 2013 By Linda Hardesty

Shift EnergyThe University of New Hampshire installed a new solar air heating system on the roof and south-facing wall of its science and research building, Kingsbury Hall. The $130,000 solar air heating project is expected to provide about 75 percent of the heated air needed for the south wing of the building, and to save the university between $8,000 and $15,000 in energy costs per year, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader. The Lubi solar air system from Shift Energy (pictured), consisting of 2,400 square feet of perforated plastic panels, was installed on the building. The panels are backed by a dark solar absorber with a gap in between. During the winter, the system is turned on and heated air collects in the pocket. The hot air is then sucked in through new duct work to the existing ventilation system.

The university city of Cambridge, England, is planning a $1.5 billion retrofit program dubbed the “Cambridge Retrofit Project,” to reduce carbon emissions from buildings 30 percent by 2050, reports SustainableBusiness. The project aims to retrofit not only medieval college buildings but also 20,000 commercial properties as well as 20,000 private homes. The project is being overseen by 30 public and private partners, led by One Energy, which specializes in retrofits, and consulting firm Consense, which will reach out to businesses and residents.

Ameresco has begun work on an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with Kalispell School District #5, in Kalispell, Mont. Ameresco will install over $3.29 million of energy efficiency improvements at 12 school buildings, and the energy efficiency improvements are expected to save the district about $140,569 annually. Prior to beginning work on the ESPC, Ameresco performed a full investment grade audit to identify areas where energy savings measures could be implemented. With construction expected to be completed by the end of this year, the majority of the work is concentrated around the HVAC infrastructure. The project scope also includes interior, exterior, and lighting control upgrades, 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. In addition to the ESPC, the project is also being funded through a roughly $1 million Montana Quality Schools Grant for energy saving infrastructure upgrades. The project is expected to realize 1.2 million kWh in electric savings, 56,079 therms in natural gas savings, and 1,526,600 gallons of water savings annually.



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