By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer
NAUGATUCK — Borough officials are looking to install an energy-saving system at Naugatuck High School to reduce heating and electricity costs.
The Board of Education in September approved moving forward with installing a combined heat and power (CHP) system at the school. Four CHP units from Controlled Air Inc. of Branford will be installed as part of the project, according to Adam Burkitt, managing partner with Advanced Energy Efficiencies of Woodbridge.
Each CHP unit has a natural gas engine that spins a generator which produces electricity with a byproduct of waste heat, said Burkitt, who has worked with the borough on energy saving projects in the past. The units use a similar type of technology as a power plant that uses natural gas to produce electricity, he said.
The system would provide 45% of the school’s existing electrical consumption and 52% of its thermal consumption, Burkitt said.
“You have electrical and thermal, two large items on a school and municipal budget,” Burkitt said. “It’s going to provide those efficiencies.”
One of the biggest energy consumers at the school is the pool, Burkitt said. The CHP units will be able to help offset those costs, he said.
The project is estimated to cost $990,000. The borough would pay it off over a 10-year lease with estimated monthly payments of $9,416.
After factoring in operational expenses, lease payments and potential energy incentives, the school system is projected to save $26,875 the first year the units are installed.
The units are projected to last to 15 to 20 years, Burkitt said.
Officials project the annual net savings will be $233,108 in the 20th year of the project. This factors in paying off the lease and increases in utility charges.
Officials estimate the cumulative savings over 20 years will be about $2.5 million.
The units would be connected to the boilers via a heat exchanger, according to Burkitt. The units would work in a first position and the boilers would follow in a secondary position, he said.
The Board of Mayor and Burgesses is expected to vote on the project at its meeting Tuesday.
“It’s great when you can combine costs savings with green energy savings. In this case we’re going to save a significant amount and at the same time reduce our carbon foot print,” Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said. “It’s a win for the town, the Board Of Education and the citizens of Naugatuck.”
If approved, Burkitt said, it will take nine months to install the units and make them operational.