July 6, 2010
City Installing Major Efficiency Lighting Project At Palmer Events Center With Federal Stimulus Funds
The City of Austin is changing out inefficient lighting at the Palmer Events Center with high efficiency lighting that will save an estimated 270,417 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year and $21,501 in energy costs annually. The electricity savings is the equivalent of powering 22 average-size homes in Austin year round.
Approximately 77 metal halide pendent fixtures are being changed out and replaced with efficient high bay fluorescent lights that will reduce the wattage of each fixture by more than half from 992 watts to 444 watts. Total cost of the project is $105,961 with a payback of 4.4 years based on the energy savings.
The project is being paid for with part of a $7.5 million federal stimulus grant awarded the City of Austin by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to increase the energy efficiency of Austin’s municipal buildings. Palmer is one of seven municipal buildings set to undergo lighting retrofits in the next few weeks that combined will save 576,937 kWh or the equivalent of powering almost 50 homes year round. Some of the facilities include the Millennium Youth Entertainment Complex, Police Station #33 and the Austin Public Library warehouse.
Additionally, the City is beginning the commissioning of eight buildings including the Carver Library and Museum, the Mexican American Cultural Center and the John Henry Faulk Library. Commissioning involves optimizing the energy performance of buildings including HVAC systems by reprogramming and/or recalibrating equipment and making repairs where necessary. This also includes installing programmable thermostats that communicate remotely and reduce energy use. As many as 16 buildings have been identified for optimization that will save as much as $400,000 a year in energy costs.
Austin Energy, which manages the energy efficiency of municipal buildings, is working with City departments on these projects and others that combined could save more than 5 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, enough to power 400 homes year round. The work involved will generate an estimated 100 green jobs and also reduce carbon and other emissions.
Other projects that will be completed with the federal stimulus funds include replacing two aged, biogas/diesel generators at the Hornsby Bend sludge treatment facility with modern biogas generation equipment to create renewable energy from methane; retrofitting exterior lighting systems with new technologies such as Induction and Light Emitting Diode at surface parking lots and parking garages; and increasing insulation and making other energy improvements at older, smaller facilities such as Fire and EMS stations and Parks facilities.