FRAMINGHAM, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Today, officials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Ameresco, Inc., a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, came together to mark the first year of successful operation of its new renewable energy fueled cogeneration facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS). Under the Department’s single largest renewable Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), the DOE contracted with Ameresco in 2009 to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain and fuel the 34-acre renewable energy facility over the term of the 20-year contract.
One year ago, the SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility began commercial operation and replaced the 1950s-era deteriorating, inefficient coal powerhouse and oil-fired boilers. Thursday morning’s ceremony celebrates the first full year of operational success, specifically highlighting its performance, safety record, and environmental compliance.
In the first year the facility operated without interruption, averaging 200,000 pounds of steam per hour while generating a total of 1.67 billion pounds of steam and 97,000 megawatts of electricity. The plant processed more than 10,000 tons of tires and 221,000 tons of clean biomass, consisting of local forest residue and wood chips. There were no recordable safety issues during the first year of operation, equating to more than 115,500 man hours without incident.
“Today recognizes the teamwork from the DOE/Ameresco Project Team that successfully steered this project safely and efficiently through its first year of operation,” said David Moody, DOE Savannah River Manager. “The SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility supports the Department’s energy efficiency and sustainability goals, and with the success of this facility, it shows SRS is working to meet national challenges in strategic areas such as sustainability and clean energy.”
“Looking back over the first year of operational efficiency and success, the SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility continues to be an outstanding example of how a public-private partnership can help create transformative energy infrastructures and improve sustainability,” said Keith Derrington, Executive Vice President, Federal Solutions, Ameresco. “An award-winning project such as this one is representative of how a large-scale sustainable power resource can become a reality through a budget-neutral ESPC solution without additional up-front cost.”
ESPCs are contracts in which private companies finance, install, and maintain new energy- and water-efficient equipment in federal facilities. The government pays no up-front cost, therefore saving taxpayer dollars, and the company's investment is repaid over time by the agency from the cost savings generated by the new equipment. This allows the government to use the private sector to purchase more energy-efficient systems and improve the energy performance of their facilities at no extra cost to the agency or taxpayers.
Since construction began in 2009, the project sustained and created an estimated 800 jobs spanning the mechanical, construction, engineering and supplier sectors over the 30-month construction period. Now at full operations, the plant continues to support job growth with an onsite operations team and by supporting the local logging community. In addition, the Ameresco Tire Processing Facility near SRS accepts and recycles tires from within a 100-mile radius of the facility and supports the local community. Currently, there are multiple suppliers providing biomass fuel sources to the new SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility. It is estimated that there are 200 jobs affected by the Biomass Plant between suppliers, maintenance contracts, and testing.
During 2012, the SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility has been recognized for excellence and was the recipient of a variety of prestigious awards. Some include: Office of Environmental Management, United States Department of Energy, Best in Class, 2012 Sustainability Award; Office of Environmental Management, United States Department of Energy, In Recognition of Outstanding Sustainability Projects and Practices; Renewable Energy World Network, Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards, Bioenergy Project of the Year 2012; and 2012 Groundbreaker of the Year, International Biomass Conference & Expo produced by BBI International, Ameresco and United States Department of Energy.
About Ameresco, Inc.
Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc. (NYSE:AMRC) is a leading independent provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure upgrades, asset sustainability 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 63 offices in 34 states and five Canadian provinces. Ameresco has more than 900 employees. For more information, visit www.ameresco.com.