The SRS biomass cogeneration energy savings performance contract construction reaches completion and gains project acceptance
FRAMINGHAM, MA and AIKEN, SC - December 22, 2011 - Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE: AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, announced today that it received its Final Acceptance Certificate from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River Operations Office for the completion of construction of the DOE Savannah River Site (SRS) Biomass Cogeneration Facility (BCF) installed under the $795 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC) awarded to Ameresco in May 2009.
Following a series of performance tests on the newly-operational plant, the 20 megawatt (MW), 34 acre, renewable energy facility is on-schedule to provide the necessary process steam to the site as well as provide approximately 30% of power for the site once fully operational in 2012. During the past six weeks, the plant has produced over 3 million kilowatt hours of energy that was used by the site during the series of performance tests.
“Ameresco is proud to receive the DOE’s final acceptance of the Savannah River Site biomass cogeneration project,” stated Keith Derrington, executive vice president and general manager of Federal Operations at Ameresco. “This project exemplifies how renewable power can meet the electrical demands of the nation’s largest federal facilities while reducing energy and water costs through energy efficient technology. Most importantly, this project has been implemented through private-sector investment at no direct cost to taxpayers and demonstrates how private sector solutions can meet public sector needs.”
The new biomass cogeneration facility was contracted through the U.S. DOE Super ESPC program. In May 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded to Ameresco the $795 million ESPC task order to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain and fuel the biomass cogeneration facility, which includes three biomass-fueled renewable energy plants located at the SRS. The project is the largest single-source of performance-based renewable energy savings underway in the federal government through the ESPC program.
The biomass cogeneration facility is expected to generate $944 million of energy, water, operations and maintenance savings during Ameresco’s 19 year plant performance agreement while generating up to half of the necessary energy to power the 300 square mile SRS facility. By replacing an inefficient coal powerhouse and oil-fired boilers at SRS, the new renewable energy facility is designed to reduce carbon emissions annually by 100,000 tons and save an estimated 1.4 billion gallons of water a year. Over 600,000 hours of construction and operational labor has been invested into the construction of the plant.
The new SRS biomass facilities are long-term national assets in the areas of environmental stewardship, innovative technology, and national security. The facilities will convert 325,000 tons of fuel per year, including local forest residue and wood chips, into 20MW of clean power. The plant is expected to yield at least $34 million in utility cost-savings during its first year of operations. Since construction began in 2009, the project is estimated to have sustained and created approximately 800 jobs spanning the mechanical, construction, engineering and supplier sectors over the 30 month construction period. Once fully operational, the plant will sustain 25 full-time jobs on-site.
“This project represents a partnership between Ameresco, the U.S. Department of Energy, the Savannah River Site, South Carolina and the local Aiken community,” continued Keith Derrington of Ameresco. “This partnership has resulted in the single largest performance-based renewable energy savings contract in U.S. history.”
A formal ribbon cutting ceremony is being planned for the first quarter of 2012.
About Ameresco, Inc.
Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North America. Ameresco’s services include upgrades to a facility’s energy infrastructure and the development, construction and operation of renewable energy plants. Ameresco has successfully completed energy saving, environmentally responsible projects with federal, state and local governments, healthcare and educational institutions, housing authorities, and commercial and industrial customers. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco provides local expertise through its 59 offices in 34 states and five Canadian provinces. Ameresco has more than 850 employees. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com.
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