Clean Tech Case Study: When Sustainability Means Big Savings

Solar panels on the roof of
Solar panels on the roof of Herculaneum High School in Missouri.

By Lacey Miller

Sustainability is more than just company operations. At the Doe Run Co., sustainability is also about “protecting our workforce and neighbors”… to the tune of $2 million in savings!

In 2013, Doe Run invested about $600,000 into the Herculaneum High School, part of the Dunklin R-V School District in Jefferson County, Missouri, paving the way for major upgrades to the inefficient campus. With the help of Microgrid Energy, which performed the energy audit that covered lighting, HVAC, water heating, plug loads and building envelopes, the final project included several energy conservation measures, set to save the school an estimated $2 million over the life of the project.

Project details that were verified in the Microgrid case study include:

  • 75 kilowatts (kW) of solar capacity, including 25 kW rooftop arrays on the gymnasium and fine arts building, a 13 kW array with a battery storage component on the main building, and 6 kW solar canopies on the football stadium grandstand and cafeteria courtyard.
  • Interior and exterior lighting upgrades to replace all T12 fluorescent lamps with new, energy-efficient T8 lamps, and the replacement of metal halide fixtures on the building walls and parking lots with new, high-efficiency LED fixtures.
  • HVAC upgrades, including a new Variable Air Volume air handler in the D-Wing of the main building, and a new, high-efficiency boiler to heat the building.

Steve O’Rourke, Vice President of Consulting Services at Microgrid Solar said, “It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with Doe Run and Herculaneum High School on this project. This is a great educational opportunity and an excellent demonstration of how to combine renewable energy and energy efficiency to save the school over $2 million over the projected lifetime.”

Upon completion in 2014, the upgrades and financials were verified by Noesis Energy, proving out the savings at an estimated $44,000 a year. The energy savings equivalencies will equal nearly 4 million pounds of CO2 avoided over the equipment’s lifetime, which is equivalent to 3.75 million miles not driven, or the planting of 280 acres of trees.

In an industry that has major trust issues, it’s important to showcase successes like this one and to make sure the results can be trusted. Verified case studies allow businesses that sell products and services for energy efficiency to share the specifics about their successful projects, in a manner that is verified for accuracy. This helps product vendors, distributors, consultants, and building managers build confidence and trust around the energy savings business cases for their own projects, resulting in more projects getting done.

Image courtesy of Noesis Energy

Lacey Miller is the Digital Marketing Specialist for Noesis Energy, focused on bringing awareness to energy efficiency and the new avenues of financing available for projects.

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