U.S. Coast Guard Achieves Near Net Zero Operations on Remote Island Using Renewable Distributed Energy Resources and Efficiency Measures

Situation

  • The United States Coast Guard (USCG) Sector San Juan is responsible for all Coast Guard missions in the Eastern Caribbean, protecting the maritime economy, defending maritime borders, and saving those in peril. On the island of Puerto Rico, they run multiple command and operations facilities, an air station, and two on-base housing communities across three separate sites.
  • Recent legislation and executive orders impose strict mandates for federal agencies to reduce their overall energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. For example, by 2015, all federal agencies are required to achieve a 30 percent energy intensity reduction in their overall energy spend versus a 2003 baseline.

Approach

To reduce energy consumption at the Coast Guard’s Puerto Rico installations, Schneider Electric implemented multiple energy conservation measures (ECMs) in over 300 buildings on the island.

Project details:

  • 3 MW of photovoltaic power installed
  • 60,000 square feet of “cool roofs” installed
  • Building automation system upgrades
  • HVAC efficiency upgrades
  • Lighting retrofits and controls
  • Building envelope improvements
  • Water conservation retrofits
  • Central plant upgrades and optimization

Unique Financing Approach: third party has taken ownership of the solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, as allowable under the DOE ESPC indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ), and will capture and pass along the Treasury Grant benefits to the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will purchase the electricity generated at a fixed, escalated rate over 23 years.

Outcomes

The Coast Guard has recognized this ESPC as a win-win for both the Agency and local Puerto Rico communities. While the Coast Guard receives the advantages of energy savings, reduced maintenance, improved occupant comfort, and enhanced reliability, the Puerto Rican economy benefits from job creation. More than 270 island residents were put to work constructing the project.

The 3 megawatts of distributed solar photovoltaic systems are generating 4,185,830 kWh per year

  • translates to nearly $1.1 million in energy production.
  • All other ECMs are combining to achieve a verified $877,287 in annual utilty savings.
  • This exceeds the guaranteed savings by 9 percent.

Schneider Electric