Cincinnati eyes $6M in efficiency projects

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Cincinnati eyes $6M in efficiency projects

Postby StephanieCutts » Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:20 pm ... =printable

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cincinnati eyes $6M in efficiency projects; County might fund $20M

Business Courier of Cincinnati - by Dan Monk Senior Staff Reporter
Downtown’s Duke Energy Center could have 150 new solar panels on its roof by year’s end, under a stimulus-assisted package of energy-services performance contracts now being developed by the city of Cincinnati.

“They’re implementing almost $6 million worth of work throughout police stations, fire stations and the convention center,” said Michelle Jorgenson, senior account manager for Ameresco Inc. “It’s going to create or maintain probably 30 to 40 jobs right there in Hamilton County.”

Massachusetts-based Ameresco is one of two contractors that won a bidding competition for energy-service consulting contracts last year. The city developed a plan to use $1.1 million in stimulus funding to “buy down” the borrowing cost of energy upgrades recommended by Ameresco and Honeywell Inc. Essentially, the city is using stimulus money to cover more upfront costs, increasing the amount it’s able to borrow. The debt is paid off using cash-flow created by lower utility bills.

The city’s $1.1 million investment represents 44 percent of the stimulus allocated to the city under the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program, according to a recent report to City Council. Jorgenson said more than two dozen local governments in Ohio are pursuing strategies similar to Cincinnati.
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