The City of Boulder hosted a Greenovation Celebration event yesterday at the South Boulder Recreation Center to celebrate the city’s use of renewable energy and efficiency solutions as part of its performance contract for city facilities.
The event also highlighted the installation of two of the 40 electric vehicle charging stations throughout the city as part of the federally and Xcel Energy-funded Plug-in Electric Hybrid Vehicle Project.
VIPs in attendance for the celebration included Executive Director of the Governor’s Energy Office TJ Deora, Mayor Susan Osborne, and other representatives from city partners including: McKinstry, Colorado Clean Cities, Xcel Energy, Next Generation Energy, Colorado Carbon Fund, Eaton, Power Tagging, EETrex, Zam Energy, NREL, CU Boulder, Boulder County.
BOULDER’S ENERGY PERFORMANCE CONTRACT
In 2010, the City of Boulder partnered with the Governor’s Energy Office on an energy performance contract project. The partnership enabled Boulder to enter into a lease agreement and hire energy services company McKinstry to implement energy efficient facility upgrades that are paid for over time with savings from decreased utility bills. Essentially, the city was not required to spend any additional money than it would have on its annual utility bills, but in return, it received facility improvements and was able to reduce its impact on the environment.
“In 2006, Boulder adopted the Climate Action Plan, which challenges the community to meet the Kyoto Protocol goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012,” said City Manager Jane Brautigam.
“It is important that the city leads by example and does its part to reduce its own energy consumption. The city’s energy performance contract has played a big role in getting us to our goals. By the end of the year, the city anticipates reducing CO2 emissions from city operations by 17 percent since 2008.”
Over the course of the first two phases of the project, McKinstry designed and implemented a combination of energy efficiency measures and renewable energy technologies in 66 city buildings. The second phase of the project, which is nearing completion, included solar thermal installations to heat swimming pools at the East Boulder Community Center and the South Boulder Recreation Center, as well as many other upgrades. The renewable energy components of the project, including the solar thermal pool water heating installations and solar photovoltaic installations at eight buildings, totaled 712 kW of electricity production. Improvements were performed by local construction crews, helping to stimulate the local economy.
“The work done across the City of Boulder is a great example of how, when investments are made in water and building systems that conserve resources, utilize smart operations and incorporate clean distributed power, we are able to achieve significant outcomes for the environment and the community,” said Ash Awad, Vice President, McKinstry.
“The results of the city’s energy performance contract are impressive,” said Mayor Susan Osborne. “More than $550,000 will be saved in annual costs, carbon emissions will be reduced by nearly 6,000 metric tons per year, and we estimate that over 200 local jobs were either created or preserved to accomplish the work.”
The project leveraged Xcel Energy rebates and ARRA funds from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant and Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds programs to pay for more than 20 percent of the upfront costs. The city is also receiving ongoing incentive payments for the renewable energy credits associated with these systems from the Colorado Carbon Fund and Xcel Energy.
SMART GRID PLUG-IN ELECTRIC HYBRID PROJECT
The Smart Grid Plug-in Electric Hybrid project, funded through the Department of Energy with assistance from Congressman Jared Polis and Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, will promote the use of alternatively fueled vehicles and advanced technology vehicles in Boulder.
The City of Boulder, Boulder County and the University of Colorado-Boulder will test and convert existing hybrid electric fleet vehicles, purchase new electric vehicles, install approximately 40 electric vehicle charging stations, and test vehicle-to-building interfaces and charging stations with Xcel Energy’s SmartGridCity project. Some locations for charging stations will also be connected to existing and planned installations of solar photovoltaic systems through the City of Boulder’s energy performance contract.
“Xcel Energy is committed to supporting our customers who choose to drive plug-in electric vehicles by helping them prepare for their charging needs and ensuring our system is ready. We are confident, as with our other green energy programs, Boulder customers will lead Colorado in adopting electric vehicles,” said Jay Herrmann, Xcel Energy’s vice president of marketing. “We’re also here to assist Boulder in reaching its energy performance goals in unique ways, whether it’s supporting a grant, providing rebates or contributing resources through our SmartGridCity demonstration project.”
Project Partners include Boulder County, Clean Cities Coalition, The Colorado Carbon Fund/The ClimateTrust, Congressman Jared Polis, Department of Energy, Governor’s Energy Office, McKinstry, NREL, Rocky Mountain Institute, University of Colorado Boulder, Xcel Energy, and other local businesses.
More information: City of Boulder, Joe Castro, Facilities and Fleet Manager, 303-441-3163, CastroJ@bouldercolorado.gov; McKinstry (EPC designer/contractor), Leslie Larocque, 303-215-4044, LeslieL@McKinstry.com