A prison in Illinois will benefit from more than $33 million in energy and water savings thanks to an energy savings performance contract (ESPC); the ESPC project is expected to reduce energy consumption by 53% across 13 main buildings, leading to significant reductions in utility and operational costs. The “budget-neutral” project is valued at $18.9 million, according to Ameresco, the energy services company that is partnering with the penitentiary.
Improvements to the AUSP Thomson facility in Thomson, Illinois, will include interior and exterior LED fixtures, HVAC upgrades, building automation system control upgrades, and new high efficiency transformers. Ameresco will also construct one megawatt of ground-mount solar photovoltaic arrays to displace retail electric consumption.
The project will also reduce water consumption by more than 32 million gallons annually through domestic water conservation measures across inmate housing. Ameresco will replace existing higher flow toilets, showers and faucets with lower flow models to reduce water consumption at the prison by 35%.
As a result of the project, AUSP Thomson is expected to save more than $1 million annually in energy and water costs.
An ESPC is a contracting tool that uses private-sector financing to implement comprehensive energy savings projects without relying on federal appropriations, and allows for energy improvements with little or no capital outlay on the part of the client. For example, the Putnam Valley Central School District in New York signed an energy performance contract with Con Edison Solutions in May. The project will improve the energy efficiency of the district’s buildings and infrastructure, improve occupancy comfort, and slow the pace of escalating energy costs– with guaranteed savings of $380,000 annually.