June 14, 2019

Adelphi University-Ecosystem Cogen Project Wins AEE Recognition

The Long Island chapter of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE-LI) presented a chapter award for Energy Project of the Year 2019 to the Adelphi University cogeneration project, which was designed and implemented by Ecosystem Energy Services.

Leveraging an outcome-based procurement approach, Adelphi University turned an asset renewal project into an investment with eight years payback. The project’s innovative financing strategy generates a positive cashflow that has funded other necessary infrastructure updates on campus – of the $1.6 million in guaranteed annual savings, $400,000 is available each year for other campus needs. Ecosystem contractually guaranteed the project cost (zero change orders accrued to the client), start-up dates, financial incentives, and annual savings.

The project was challenging from an engineering standpoint. Not only did Ecosystem precisely match the seasonal loads, optimizing the utilization factor and overall efficiency to achieve higher efficiency and a shorter payback period, but they also had to fit a new CHP unit with four new hot-water boilers in a very tight space.

It was imperative for Adelphi to hide the CHP unit to preserve the scenic campus.  Most pre-packaged CHP solutions just could not be delivered in this tight space. Working collaboratively and mutually invested in the outcomes, Ecosystem arrived at innovative solutions.

Since coming online, the CHP has run at 75% efficiency, significantly exceeding the New York State Energy Resource Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) requirements for incentives. And since September 2016, Adelphi’s electric bill has fallen by 40%.

Find out why Timothy Burton, Adelphi’s former CFO, identified the outcome-based approach as the best way to address the various challenges their university was facing.