ESCO Ameresco Delivers Energy Savings Projects to Four Colleges in Scotland

Ameresco, an energy efficiency and renewable energy company providing energy infrastructure solutions, announced that its UK operation was awarded and delivered a £3 million energy performance contract (EPC) across four colleges in Scotland—Edinburgh College, Borders College, Newbattle Abbey College, and West Lothian College.

(Image: Ameresco)

This is the first large, multi-site EPC project awarded and delivered through Scottish Government’s Non-Domestic Energy Efficiency Framework (NDEEF), and the first higher education EPC in Scotland delivered by Ameresco’s UK operation. Ameresco identified savings opportunities through an Investment Grade Proposal (IGP), installed energy conservation measures (ECMs), and guaranteed the identified savings. The combined predicted annual energy savings total nearly £300,000, based on the energy efficiency measures installed. In addition, each College is predicted to benefit from a reduction in its carbon emissions: Edinburgh College by 13 percent, Borders College by 16 percent, Newbattle Abbey College by 53 percent, and West Lothian College by 14 percent.

The project was funded by Scottish Government’s 2017 Capital Stimulus Programme. The installation contracts were signed in May 2017, and due to the timing restrictions on the funding, the entire programme from IGP to installation had to be completed within six months. Installation of the improvements had to be completed during the college summer holidays to avoid disruption.

In addition to the accelerated timeline, the historic nature of the area and buildings added to the challenges faced by Ameresco’s implementation team. Special care was taken where archeologically significant materials were found at a former medieval battlefield and grave yard at Newbattle Abbey College, and careful coordination was required with Historic Scotland and Midlothian Council to ensure all work was carried to meet the preservation requirements of the building and grounds.

ECMs implemented at the Colleges included LED lighting and controls, a combined heat and power (CHP) system, controls optimization, variable speed drives and CO2 sensing, gas oil to natural gas conversion, smart occupancy controls, low flow taps and showers, building envelope improvements and transformer tap downs.

“Newbattle Abbey College was delighted to participate in the project. Our 16th century building, and heritage estate has benefited enormously from the project investment which will enable a significant reduction in carbon emissions and accrue energy savings which can be reinvested in our estate,” said George Currie, Estates and Facilities Manager, Newbattle Abbey College.

“These projects are helping us reduce our carbon emissions and meet our duties as outlined in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. In addition, significant financial savings are being realised, which will help us invest in future projects,” expressed Annette Burton, Principal, Edinburgh College.

“The College was pleased to participate in this programme as the projects undertaken will contribute to the College delivering on its commitment to reduce the carbon footprint and the targets set out in the Carbon Management Plan 2016-2020,” commented Jennifer McLaren, Vice Principal, West Lothian College.

The company’s streamlined processes and efficiency of operation enabled this challenging programme to be mobilized, delivered and installed within the original timescale. A combination of the Colleges’ existing contractors, select local contractors and national providers were utilized to install the projects. Subcontractors were managed by Ameresco, ensuring minimal disruption to College staff during project installation. It worked with a third-party M&V consultant to develop the appropriate protocols to meet the Colleges expectations for measurement and verification of savings following project installation.

“The success of this project would not have been possible without the collaboration between the College site teams, their senior management and Ameresco,” stated Britta MacIntosh, Ameresco’s Vice President of UK Operations. “Our goal was to identify and implement a project that would deliver the most benefit and value to each College based on their unique requirements. The challenging logistics of each site required a true partnership with the Colleges and we are honored to have worked with all those involved.”

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