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First Steps Underway for Campus Energy Saving Program
University partnering with Ameresco to move toward sustainable energy plan and millions in cost savings.
Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release 7-29-2014
Mankato, Minn. -- Representatives of the green consulting company Ameresco will be touring campus buildings and facilities in the first steps of a plan to save the University millions in future energy costs while ushering in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly energy system.
Ameresco is an independent provider of energy efficiency and renewable energy installations for institutions around the country. Its clients include Arizona State University, The University of Illinois and Colorado State University. The firm will have representatives spend three months on campus inspecting University facilities and drafting a plan for the University's approval.
Another three months will follow of design plans, bidding and contracting and obtaining approval from the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU). A final contract with the University will include a guarantee that the expenses involved in making the improvements will be completely offset by the savings in energy costs within a 15-year period. Ameresco officials estimate those energy cost savings to be between $4.8 million and $9.5 million.
“The benefit to the campus is there are no out-of-pocket expenses,” said John Neville, Regional Director for Ameresco. “It’s a self-funded project based on energy savings that we guarantee.”
The University has a goal of hitting a 20 percent to 25 percent reduction in energy costs. University Vice President for Finance and Administration Rick Straka said the relationship with Ameresco will help achieve that goal cost-effectively.
“This is an opportunity to get some of these things done where the capital costs are picked up as part of this agreement,” Straka said. The University in 2013 spent $4.2 million on energy to operate its 43 buildings.
“This program has potential to generate significant energy savings, make improvements in equipment condition and efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint on our campus,” said Ron Fields, assistant vice president for facilities management.
Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,409 students, is part of the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities system, which comprises 31 state institutions.