The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) has awarded a $6.4 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) to Schneider Electric for the Almeric Christian Federal Building in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. The project will make the site at St. Croix one of the first federal buildings to achieve 100 percent Net Zero Energy through an ESPC.

The ESPC guarantees a total of more than $13 million in energy savings, with $500,000 being saved in the first year of the 19-year contract. Some of the energy conservation measures that Schneider Electric is implementing on the project include upgrades to the chilled water system and building automation system, interior and exterior lighting improvements and replacement of air-handling units and transformers.

The project is expected to produce annual energy savings of 962,916 kilowatt hours, which is 100 percent of the building’s baseline usage. Energy savings are achieved through a combination of energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy production, which will improve the overall building infrastructure without appropriated funds.  The building upgrade will be completed by October 2014.

As part of the contract, Schneider Electric is helping the GSA site in St. Croix manage challenges unique to the remote, tropical location, such as the high cost of electricity on the island. In addition to controlling rising utility costs, the performance contract will allow for remote reporting of sub-meter data, exposure of the building’s data to a third party analytics platform and the elimination of transformer flooding issues due to surface stormwater.

“These ESPC contracts offer the federal government the opportunity to reap long-term benefits of energy and cost savings without making an initial investment," said Denise L. Pease, GSA Regional Administrator. She said the contracts enable GSA to make federal facilities more energy efficient, reduce the nation’s carbon footprint and save taxpayer dollars by reducing costs.

“Buildings in tropical climates face unique challenges in managing their energy, making Net Zero Energy difficult to achieve,” said Jeff Sherman, Director — Energy & Sustainability Services, at Schneider Electric. “Having engaged in ESPCs in various Caribbean locations in the past, we felt well-positioned to partner with the GSA to provide the deep energy retrofits that would meet the needs of the Almeric Federal Building and help it become a leading example, not only for federal buildings, but commercial buildings nationwide.”

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) ESPC program allows federal agencies to meet energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation and emissions reduction goals by leveraging energy savings to fund facility improvements. Schneider Electric is a pre-qualified Energy Service Company (ESCO) under the DOE’s Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract for ESPCs. Go here for more information on Schneider Electric’s energy management program at federal facilities.

This video shows how Schneider Electric is helping federal agencies maximize savings through energy management projects.

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