Ameresco has announced the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has entered into a contract with Ameresco to build a 2.47 megawatt solar energy system at the El Paso Intelligence Center located on Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas. The Energy Saving Performance Contract (ESPC) was awarded to Ameresco under the ESPC ENABLE program.
“Ameresco applauds the partnership of the El Paso Intelligence Center and the DEA in contracting this onsite solar asset,” said Nicole A. Bulgarino, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Federal Solutions, Ameresco. “Together, we have successfully executed an innovative project delivery model to construct this solar PV system.”
The ESPC ENABLE program offers a streamlined process for small federal agency projects to leverage third-party financed energy technologies in six months or less. The contract with Ameresco is also uniquely structured to capture the financial benefits of the solar investment tax credit through an energy sales agreement within the traditional ESPC. Ameresco will finance, build, own and operate the solar system for a period of 20 years under the contract.
The 2.47 megawatt system will be comprised of two ground-mount solar PV systems on the site of the El Paso Intelligence Center. The site will benefit from reduced electricity costs, long-term electric pricing stability, and reduced carbon emissions of more than 3,400 metric tons annually. Overall, the ESPC is expected to achieve more than $9.2 million in energy cost savings.
Ameresco will also convert more than 1,400 interior and exterior lighting fixtures to high-efficiency LEDs. The longer life LEDs will reduce maintenance and replacement costs while providing high-quality illumination and individual office dimming control.
The project will be DEA’s first renewable energy system and first ESPC that will advance agency expertise in renewable energy system installation and integration that can be used by other government facilities. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) has provided technical support for project development, including grant funding through the Assisting Federal Facilities with Energy Conservation Technologies (AFFECT) program.
Ameresco was competitively selected by DEA in February of 2017 to develop the project and was awarded the contract in September of this same year. The project is currently in construction and is expected to be operational by fall of 2018. The building will remain fully-occupied during construction and with regular operations