A comprehensive energy efficiency and infrastructure project broke ground yesterday at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. The project – which includes replacing its fuel oil-fired boiler plant with a high-efficiency natural gas plant – will bring $39 million in capital improvements to the Academy.
The unprecedented energy savings project will also include renewable and onsite energy generation, an expanded chiller plant, and multiple energy efficiency measures, resulting in significant energy savings and enhanced energy resilience across the 85-year-old campus.
“When the construction is complete, the Academy will reduce total electricity imported from the grid by nearly 80 percent,” said Rear Admiral Melvin Bouboulis, the Coast Guard's chief engineer. “The appreciable benefit to the neighborhood and region could not have been possible without the two years of planning and design efforts and the partnership between our Coast Guard engineers, Eversource management and the technical team from Ameresco.”
The project is designed to reduce overall energy consumption by 48 percent, reduce water consumption by more than 15 percent, and save the Academy more than $2 million in annual energy costs.
Funded through energy cost savings, the project is the largest Utility Energy Service Contract ever awarded by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security. It will substantively modernize the institution’s energy infrastructure, impacting facilities that span the barracks to the academic laboratories.
“The Academy is at the forefront of developing our country’s future leaders, and is a leader in its own right in the clean and efficient energy space,” said Tilak Subrahmanian, Vice President of Energy Efficiency at Eversource. “We are proud to partner with the Coast Guard and Ameresco as we work together to transform the campus into a more modern, high performance and sustainable institution.”
The natural gas plant will be supplemented by a combined heat and power plant that will generate one megawatt of electricity onsite with a microturbine generator, another Coast Guard first. The project also includes expanding the central chiller plant, implementing numerous energy and water conservation measures, lighting improvements, and the installation of rooftop solar arrays.
“Ameresco is proud to be an energy partner to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and to optimize the energy and operational excellence of this great institution through our partnership with Eversource,” said Nicole A. Bulgarino, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Federal Solutions, Ameresco. “These improvements will improve the reliability of the Academy’s electrical systems and will increase the site’s energy resiliency through the new central boiler plant fueled by natural gas.”
The Academy has been located in New London since 1910. The institution moved from nearby Fort Trumbull to its present location on the West Bank of the Thames River in 1932.
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