The United States Coast Guard (USCG) and partners Eversource and Ameresco recently celebrated the completion of a holistic energy management project that brought $39 million in capital improvements to the United States Coast Guard Academy. Local, state and federal officials last week toured several academy buildings to see the improvements implemented over the past two years to deliver infrastructure improvements, energy efficiency, resiliency, and sustainability across the 87-year-old campus.
Energy cost savings will pay for this $72.6 million Utility Energy Service Contract (UESC) – the largest ever awarded by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security – over the term of the project’s performance period.
Eversource helped the academy secure the contract and, in partnership with Ameresco, led the implementation of the improvements, which will reduce the site’s energy consumption by 48 percent and water consumption by more than 15 percent, while saving the academy more than $2 million in annual energy costs (an 80 percent reduction). The project will reduce the academy’s carbon emissions by around 7,800 metric tons of CO2 per year, equivalent to taking more than 1,600 cars off the road.
“Any time we can invest in the infrastructure onboard the service's only accession point for officers we are making an investment in the long term strength of the service," said Rear Admiral Bill Kelly, Academy Superintendent.
The project substantively modernized the academy’s infrastructure and enhanced resiliency and efficiency, from the barracks to academic laboratories. A vital contributor to the project’s success was the strength of the partnership between the academy, Eversource, and Ameresco, as well as the project team’s innovative vision for improving the academy’s energy management.
“This project is a shining example of what is possible when you have a forward-thinking institution with an active energy management team, combined with expert resources providing guidance and recommendations, all working together to optimize energy use and create a more sustainable future,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. “As the academy continues to develop our country’s future leaders, they will do so in a modern, high-performance environment while also saving significant amounts of energy and reducing costs and carbon emissions.”
“By establishing new sources of on-site generation and creating efficiencies in the existing energy infrastructure, the U.S. Coast Guard Academy will benefit from a more secure, resilient supply of power that is mission-critical to its operations,” said Ameresco Senior Vice President of Federal Solutions Nicole Bulgarino. “This unprecedented project goes above and beyond modernizing campus facilities; it ensures that the Academy is able to continue training and developing future cadet classes for years to come in a more efficient and cost-effective means.”
The academy’s aging, fuel oil-fired boiler plant was replaced with a high-efficiency natural gas plant and supplemented by a combined heat and power plant that generates one megawatt of electricity onsite with a microturbine generator. The project featured more than a dozen energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation measures. More than a dozen energy efficiency and infrastructure upgrades were completed in 30 campus building.
The academy has been located in New London since 1910. The institution moved from nearby Fort Trumbull to its present location on the west bank of the Thames River in 1932.