How One Town Upped Its Energy Efficiency
A landfill, city hall, school and streetlights help make it possible
October 5, 2017
Worcester, Massachusetts -- the second most populous city in New England after Boston -- is getting more sustainable.
With Honeywell's assistance, the city, also known as the “heart of the commonwealth,” is now putting love into efforts that are set toreduce city energy costs by $89 million and help offset 7,475 metric tons ofcarbon annually over the next 20 years. And the work hasn't cost taxpayers asingle cent.
For the city and its citizens, the project is truly a win-win. “Everyone likes the environment. Everyone likes to save money -- we cando both,” said John Odell, energy and assets director at the city of Worcester.
How isthis possible? Here's the breakdown:
Landfill of Opportunity
We helped the city transform vacant landfill space into New England's largest municipally-owned solar farm. The Greenwood Street Solar Farm covers 25 acres with 28,600 solar panels, the equivalent of 19 football fields. The solar panels generate enough energy to power 1,340 homes per year, and are anticipated to save the city at least $60 million over the solar farm's expected 30-year life. Being municipally owned also allows the city to take advantage of selling electricity at the valuable net-metering rates back to the grid and selling Solar Renewable Energy Credits.
City Hall Gets an Upgrade
After evaluating Worcester's historic city hall, energy-saving opportunities for improvement quickly became apparent. We helped completely modernize key building equipment, installing a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system, along with a new control system and other critical assets.These renovations are a component of other similar energy efficiency measures that Honeywell implemented in approximately 100 city facilities to improve equipment performance and efficiency and help drive big energy and cost savings.
Schools Become Solar Powerhouses
Local schools represented another opportunity to generate more sustainable, cheaper energy. Honeywell fit schools in the city with solar panels to harness the power of the sun and further drive down energy costs.
Streetlights Go Green
More than 14,000 streetlights throughout Worcester received new, energy efficient LEDs with smart controls. The upgraded lighting will benefit the environment while also extending the lifespan of each light, reducing maintenance costs in the process.
Our work with the city goes back to 2009, when Honeywell performed a comprehensive energy audit of 171 city facilities totaling 5.5 million square feet of space. That audit has resulted in four project phases totaling $80 million in capital improvements by the city. All four project phases have been 100 percent self-funded through a combined $89 million in guaranteed energy savings and more than $70 million in utility rebates and solar incentives 20 years.