Portland taps Ameresco to boost energy efficiency in city buildings

The city of Portland, Maine awarded a $9.4 million contract to Ameresco to implement an energy efficiency program on 45 buildings across the city.
Written by Andrew Nusca, Contributor


The city ofPortland, Maine announced on Tuesday that it has awarded a $9.4 million contract to energy efficiency company Ameresco to implement energy conservation measures on 45 buildings across the city.

The facilities -- 30 municipal, 15 school -- were selected based on an energy audit conducted by engineering firm MACTEC. The city estimates that the project will save it $17 million over 15 years, not to mention reduce its carbon footprint.

Among the buildings selected:

  • A nursing home
  • The Portland Exposition Building
  • City Hall
  • Merrill Auditorium
  • Portland High School

All of Portland’s K-12 schools, police and fire stations and recreational facilities were audited in the process.

As part of the sustainability improvements, the city will switch from fuel oil to natural gas. Ameresco will also install a 2,000 watt solar array at the Portland Arts and Technology High School.

The rest of the list of recommendations from MACTEC:

  • More efficient lighting.
  • Lighting controls.
  • Energy management control systems.
  • Boiler plant upgrades.
  • Pipe and equipment insulation.
  • Solar water heaters.
  • Solar PV systems.
  • Laundry plant improvements.

As is becoming increasingly common in these arrangements, the City of Portland actually has no upfront capital expense for the project. Ameresco will take that on, and guarantee a minimum level of energy savings over the 15-year term of the contract (and presumably share a percentage of revenues from the project).

It will also help the city to apply for and secure additional funds from outside public and private sources.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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