The federal General Services Administration's Region 7 has awarded Schneider Electric an $18.5 million energy savings performance contract to perform energy retrofits to 16 federal buildings in Texas. Schneider's Buildings business unit, which is based in Carrollton, Texas, guarantees that the project will result in a total savings of $4.7 million over the duration of the five-year contract. The company also guarantees a 14-percent energy savings, as well as a reduction in carbon emissions by 7,109 greenhouse gas tons per year.

Schneider Electric is designing, engineering and implementing the retrofits to reduce energy use and costs, make use of renewable energy, and comply with current laws and regulations such as the requirements laid out in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The company guarantees the amount of savings its energy savings performance contracting projects will achieve and agrees to pay the difference if that amount is not realized.

To pay for the project, the GSA is investing funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as well as three years' worth of private sector financing, in which the money saved from reduced energy consumption will be used to repay the loan. The project will be completed in August 2011.

Schneider Electric will implement energy conservation measures throughout the 16 facilities' more than 7.3 million square feet of space to achieve the targeted energy savings. The measures include installation of nearly one megawatt of photovoltaic solar panels, boiler replacement, an optimized chilled water system, building automation system upgrades, a data center controls upgrade, and an interior lighting fixtures and controls retrofit. The company will reduce water use through upgrades to the existing irrigation system controls.

Schneider Electric will integrate the various building automation systems (BAS) throughout the federal facilities to reduce energy consumption. By consolidating control of the BAS to one web server on a common multivendor platform, Schneider Electric will provide GSA with a single operations tool that will allow property managers to collaborate with energy engineering staff members to monitor, schedule, optimize and control the facilities' energy use.

When completed, the retrofits will give GSA Region 7 facilities the capacity to generate 900 kilowatts of renewable power. The project will help lower GSA's risk of rising energy costs and will enable the agency to meet current requirements for renewable energy production at federal sites. The reduced carbon emissions that will be achieved through the project are equivalent to taking 1,663 cars off the roads annually, or planting 2,456 acres of trees to restore balance to the ecosystem.

Buildings receiving the energy retrofits include Fort Worth Federal Center, Fort Worth Federal Parking Garage, Fort Worth U.S. Courthouse, A. Maceo Smith Federal Building, Terminal Annex Federal Building, Dallas Federal Complex, O.C. Fisher Federal Building and Courthouse, J. Marvin Jones Federal Building, Lubbock Post Office and Federal Building, Austin Federal Courthouse, and Austin Federal Building Complex.

Schneider is generating energy savings in other Texas projects.

Related Stories