Energy Infrastructure Upgrades
Making energy-efficient improvements to buildings’ energy infrastructure results in significant energy savings and cost reductions from lower utility bills. Energy infrastructure upgrades are often performed on commercial buildings systems like HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), lighting, space heating, and chiller & boiler units. However, upgrading energy infrastructure also involves generating new, cost-effective solutions to improve facilities or, instituting systems in place for higher energy efficiency.
The end goal is to reduce energy consumption through improvements to the energy infrastructure, ensuring sustainable energy efficiency in the way that the facility operates. This may involve construction of cogeneration plants on site that replace traditional electricity generation from the grid, installation of high efficiency appliances in buildings, installing low flow faucets, building envelope weatherization, demand control ventilation and upgrading solid fuel boilers to natural gas or clean fuel boilers.
If carefully planned, such energy infrastructure upgrades have the potential to reduce not only energy costs but also greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, New York City’s Department of Correction is implementing a major pollution mitigation measure on Rikers Island by installing a cogeneration plant, which will reduce CO2 emissions by 17 percent and nitrous oxide (NOX) emissions by 37 percent, while reducing energy costs by at least $6.9 million per year1.
Associated Renewable’s energy infrastructure upgrades services are conducted by a team of energy professionals using the latest technical instrumentation and industry-wide expertise to implement ECMs that reduce dependence on fossil fuels and generate high returns on energy infrastructure investments. We work with clients on both small-scale energy infrastructure projects, such as replacing conventional oil-fired boilers with -cogeneration units, and utility scale energy infrastructure projects that are capable of restructuring an entire municipality’s power grid to enhance its overall efficiency and sustainability.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates US $26 trillion in investments will be needed in the energy sector by 2030 to sustain current energy trends. The need for reducing global energy consumption through sustainable energy infrastructure upgrades has never been felt more.
Smart Grids & Energy Infrastructure
The grid is a highly complex network of power distribution lines that serves to provide electricity through many millions of miles, but is quite limited in its capacity to function as an intelligence tool. Smart grids, on the other hand, are newer energy management technologies that include smart metering and automatic grid upgrades that allow for demand-driven electricity distribution.
Smart meters allow users to determine when electricity usage is at its peak and accordingly, allow them to adjust their daily energy-consuming activities (e.g. using dryers for laundry) to avoid expensive peak loads. This time-of-use pricing through smart grids helps users to use energy more efficiently and improve the energy infrastructure in their community. Smart grids are valuable in that they can integrate renewable energy sources like wind and solar into their electricity generation, allowing for higher sustainability of energy infrastructure. These types of improvements to the energy infrastructure result in lower transmission congestion, fewer power interruptions and better planning of electricity usage.
Associated Renewable’s energy infrastructure upgrading services assess the costs and benefits of improvements with an economical and environmental perspective. We work with clients on both small-scale energy infrastructure projects, such as replacing conventional oil-fired boilers with cogeneration units, and utility-scale energy infrastructure projects that are capable of restructuring an entire municipality’s power grid to enhance its overall efficiency and sustainability.