WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a $213 million energy savings performance contract (ESPC), awarded to Honeywell International, to make improvements at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) White Oak Federal Research Center in Silver Spring, Md. The project is the largest awarded under the ESPC program since it began more than a decade ago. DOE said the performance contract will help save more than 5.5 trillion Btu over the 20-year life of the project, and in the first year alone, the project is expected to save more than $25 million in energy and avoided operations and maintenance costs.

The contract, which was awarded by the General Services Administration (GSA) to Honeywell, will use the avoided energy costs to pay for the project.

An ESPC is a partnership between a federal agency and an energy service company (ESCO). The ESCO conducts a comprehensive energy audit for the federal facility and identifies improvements to save energy. In consultation with the federal agency, the ESCO designs and constructs a project that meets the agency’s needs and arranges the necessary financing. The ESCO guarantees that the improvements will generate energy cost savings sufficient to pay for the project over the term of the contract. After the contract ends, all additional cost savings accrue to the agency.

This project features a combined heat and power (CHP) plant that will produce electricity for the laboratory needs of the FDA and use waste heat to provide building heating and cooling. The construction will be complete in 2014 and will produce 250,000 megawatt hours per year. In addition to the CHP plant, the project will include upgrades to the HVAC systems; improvements to lighting, including the latest LED technology; and modifications to the building envelope to make it more energy efficient. When the impact of electricity generation is taken into account, all of the energy conservation measures will result in energy savings of at least 279 billion Btu per year for 20 years.

Publication date:05/16/2011