Canadian Biomass Magazine

Savannah River Site starts up operation

March 13, 2012
By Business Wire

Mar. 13, 2012, Aiken, SC - U.S. government representatives and Department of Energy officials got together for the successful operational startup of a new $795M renewable energy fueled facility at the Savannah River Site.

Mar. 13, 2012, Aiken, SC – Under Secretary of Energy Thomas D'Agostino joined U.S.
Representative Joe Wilson (R-SC) and other senior officials from the
Department of Energy (DOE) and Ameresco, Inc., a leading
energy efficiency and renewable energy company, to mark the successful
operational startup of a new $795M renewable energy fueled facility at
the Savannah River Site (SRS).

The 34-acre SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility is the culmination of
30-months and more than 600,000 hours of labor. This project is also the
single largest renewable Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) in
the Nation's history. The project sustained and created an estimated 800
jobs, spanning the mechanical, construction, engineering, and supplier
sectors. Fully operational, the plant will employ 25 fulltime jobs
onsite and support the local logging community.

"Developing clean, renewable sources is an important part of President
Obama's all-of-the-above approach to American energy," said Under
Secretary D'Agostino in addressing an audience of approximately 150
stakeholders and employees during the ribbon cutting ceremony at SRS.
"Projects like the SRS biomass facility are helping to deliver energy
efficiency savings that benefit both taxpayers and the environment.
Hundreds of people were put to work building this new facility that will
save money, dramatically reduce emissions at the Savannah River Site,
and help the Department to achieve our energy saving goals."

"I would like to congratulate DOE and Ameresco on their joint investment
in a new clean energy source," Congressman Wilson shared with ceremony
attendees. "Discovering new innovative energy sources is critically
important in today's current economic recession. I am very proud of this
private sector investor, as it works to reduce energy costs at Savannah
River Site at no additional cost to the taxpayer and creates jobs which
will spur economic development."


Acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management David Huizenga,
DOE Savannah River Manager Dave Moody, and George Sakellaris, Ameresco
President & Chief Executive Officer, joined Under Secretary D'Agostino
and Rep. Wilson for the ceremonial ribbon cutting.

The SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility replaced a deteriorating and
inefficient 1950s-era coal powerhouse and oil-fired boilers, and will
generate an estimated $944 million in savings in energy, operation and
maintenance costs over the duration of the contract.

Clean biomass, consisting of local forest residue and wood chips, and
bio-derived fuels will be the primary fuel source for the high-tech
renewable energy facility, which has the capacity to combust 385,000
tons of forest residue into 20-megawatts of clean power annually.

Energy savings result from replacing the inefficient D Area Powerhouse
with the biomass facility, switching from coal to biomass fuel, and
improving the efficiency of the operations with new equipment that
better matches SRS's load requirements. Surrounding communities also
receive added health and environmental benefits tied to air emission
reductions, including avoiding 100,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions
per year.

Renewable Recipient of the 2012 Renewable Energy World Excellence in
Renewable Energy Award for Biomass Project of the Year, the
Biomass Cogeneration Facility also advances Enterprise.SRS (E.SRS) strategic
initiatives. It will help utilize SRS's assets, knowledge and expertise
to achieve clean energy goals that yield compelling public health and
environmental benefits with real energy and cost savings.

"This is a day for celebrating teamwork and progress. The DOE/Ameresco
Project Team did a tremendous job seeing this project through
construction to operational startup," said DOE-SR Manager Moody. "The
SRS Biomass Cogeneration facility is the pinnacle of success in the
Site's contributions to support the Department's energy efficiency
goals. Startup of this renewable energy facility is proof in motion that
we are committed to E.SRS initiatives geared toward utilizing
SRS' assets and the knowledge and expertise of our workforce to secure a
high-impact future for SRS and to meet national challenges in strategic
areas like clean energy."

DOE signed onto an ESPC with Ameresco in 2009 to finance, design,
construct, operate, maintain, and fuel the new biomass facility under a
20-year fixed price contract valued at $795 million.

"Today is the capstone on what has been a tremendous endeavor for our
partnership. Together with the Department of Energy, the Savannah River
Site, the State of South Carolina and our local and regional partners,
we've built an award-winning, large-scale sustainable power resource,"
said Ameresco's President & CEO Sakellaris. "This SRS Biomass
Cogeneration Facility, funded by our ESPC is a shining example of how
public-private partnerships can create transformative energy
infrastructure for the 21st Century."

ESPCs are contracts in which private companies finance, install, and
maintain new energy- and water efficient equipment at federal
facilities. The government pays no up-front costs, saving taxpayer
dollars, and the company's investment is repaid over time by the agency
from the cost savings generated by the new equipment. This allows the
government to use the private sector to purchase more energy-efficient
systems and improve the energy performance of their facilities at no
extra cost to the agency or taxpayers.

DOE's Office of Environmental Management brokered the ESPC agreement
that supports President Obama's aggressive goal of reducing energy waste
across the federal government and increasing the use of renewable energy
resources As laid out in the President's Executive Order on Federal
Sustainability, the U.S. government can lead by example, by working to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent by 2020, reduce the energy
intensity of our facilities by 30 percent by 2015, and significantly
expand the amount of electricity we get from renewable energy resources.

About Ameresco Inc.

Founded in 2000, Ameresco, Inc.

is a leading independent
provider of comprehensive services, energy efficiency, infrastructure
upgrades, and renewable energy solutions for facilities throughout North
America. With its corporate headquarters in Framingham, MA, Ameresco's
workforce of more than 900 employees provides local expertise through
its 62 offices in 34 states and five Canadian provinces. For more
information, visit .

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