Installation of new high efficiency pumps, motors and variable frequency drives in multiple locations throughout the VA Medical Center reduce energy consumption.

Photo courtesy of Schneider Electric

The project will include comprehensive facility improvements and upgrades delivered with no up-front capital investment by the VA through a guaranteed energy-savings performance contract. 

The company will guarantee more than $1 million in annual energy savings to the VA to fund the improvements over the life of the project. Additional energy conservation measures include lighting, HVAC and advanced metering system upgrades.

A significant portion of the work focuses on water conservation efforts, driven by recent drought conditions and a remote water island environment that drive up the price of fresh water. By installing low-flow plumbing fixtures, the VA will reduce water consumption, which translates to tangible utility savings.

Facility upgrades not only will reduce energy consumption, but will directly impact patient comfort through improved lighting in patient areas and better efficiency and control of heating and air conditioning equipment.

Savings will come from a variety of measures, including:

• Installing LED lighting and occupancy sensors to turn off lights during unoccupied times.

• Replacing existing aged pump and fan motors with efficient equipment.  

• Installing power-returned fan equipment with variable-frequency drives.

“Through our partnership with Schneider Electric, we’re able to achieve energy efficiency we never imagined was possible, and deliver new levels of comfort and care to our patients,” says Sixto Ortiz-Diaz, energy manager, Department of Veterans Affairs.

“We are thrilled to be able to implement $7 million in needed capital improvements at no cost to our community through guaranteed revenues and savings, which will play a key role in ensuring the delivery of the highest quality patient care for years to come,” Ortiz-Diaz says.   

According to a recent VA Scorecard on Sustainability/Efficiency, only 15 percent of VA facilities are considered sustainable and 23 percent of facilities are not on track to meet their energy-intensity reduction goals.

The partnership with Schneider will provide resources to help close the sustainability and efficiency gaps, while addressing budget constraints faced by VA facilities.

“Schneider Electric is dedicated to providing innovative ways to improve operations through energy and infrastructure upgrades that support the VA’s mission of advancing care for veterans and their families,” says Jeff Sherman, director of federal energy and sustainability services, Schneider Electric.

The company will work with San Juan subcontractors for the installation phase of the project, bringing local jobs to the community. Construction is underway and is scheduled to be complete in early 2018.

The company also has partnered with other U.S. facilities in the Caribbean, including the U.S. Coast Guard in San Juan, as well as General Services Administration facilities in St. Croix and St. Thomas.