The United States Coast Guard Academy (CGA) is embarking on a massive energy savings project that is expected to cut the academy’s overall energy consumption in half.
The project is the largest utility energy service contract ever awarded by the Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security.
The contract calls for plans to reduce the CGA’s overall energy consumption by 48 percent, reduce water consumption by more than 15 percent and save the academy more than $2 million in annual energy costs.
Representatives from CGA, Eversource and energy services company, Ameresco, had a ceremonial groundbreaking for the massive project Monday.
"This project, when completed and fully used will pay for itself," Rear Admiral James Rendon, superintendent of the CGA, said
Commander Joshua Fant, CGA chief of facilities engineering, said the project is funded entirely through cost-savings and it’ll take about 21 years to pay back completely.
The project will modernize the infrastructure of the 85-year-old campus and bring more than $39 million in capital improvements to the academy.
Fant said the academy is the third largest energy consumer in the Coast Guard currently. By replacing the oil-fired boiler plant with a high-efficiency natural gas plant, expanding the central chiller plant and making energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements, along with more than a dozen other upgrades will take the academy out of the top 10.
There will also be HVAC improvements, the installation of more than an acre’s worth of solar panels and steam and hot water system improvements.
Eversource said also expect hyper-local job opportunities.
"It’s a job fill-up as well as creates that economic boost," Tilak Subrahmanian, vice president of energy efficiency for Eversource, said.
Subrahmanian said the project will take about 20 to 24 months.