SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Community College District and Chevron Energy Solutions have announced the completion of energy-efficient facility upgrades at Miramar College that are expected to reduce energy costs by about 30 percent - more than $200,000 annually - as well as lower greenhouse gas emissions and accommodate future campus expansion plans.

Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron, engineered and installed the upgrades for the district, including a 555-kilowatt natural gas-powered cogeneration system and two high-efficiency chillers. To reduce the district's energy costs, Chevron Energy Solutions also installed at Miramar a new high voltage system and consolidated electric metering at three locations - enhancing the cogeneration plant's load capacity - and built an expanded underground natural gas line. The company also installed at Mesa College, in a related project, a 60-kilowatt microturbine cogeneration system and a new electric service and distribution system.

The cogeneration system at Miramar will generate electricity while capturing thermal energy that will be used to heat the campus swimming pools and produce chilled water in the summer for air conditioning. It will also lower the district's need for purchased power by as much as 3,600,000 kilowatt-hours annually - which translates to avoided emissions of about 900,000 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, the equivalent of planting more than 120 acres of trees.

"The San Diego Community College District is delighted to have completed a project that not only reduces operating costs now and in the future, but also conserves energy and benefits the environment," said Dr. Constance M. Carroll, district chancellor. "Improvements of this type demonstrate a responsible use of taxpayer funds, which is one of the top priorities of our board of trustees."

The total cost of the improvements at Miramar, $5.1 million, will be offset by a state rebate of $555,000 to be provided by the San Diego Regional Energy Office. The net project cost of $4.5 million, which was funded through voter-approved Proposition "S" bonds, will be offset by the annual energy cost savings.

"Cogeneration is a great example of an efficient power source, because it recovers waste heat that can then be used for heating or cooling purposes," said Jim Davis, president of Chevron Energy Solutions. "We commend the San Diego Community College District for its decision to install these systems. Making energy efficiency and on-site power improvements is one of the most cost effective ways to extend America's energy resources."

For more information about Chevron Energy Solutions, visit

Publication date: 10/17/2005