State Office Building Getting Energy Upgrades Through PACE

LANSING — Saginaw Plaza Ltd., which leases a Lansing office building to two state agencies, announced an energy efficiency project this week with Framingham, Mass.-based Ameresco Inc. (NYSE: AMRC), an energy efficiency and renewable energy provider.

The $437,000 energy savings performance contract will add LED lighting and a 20-kilowatt photovoltaic solar array to the Saginaw Plaza building, which is leased to the Michigan Agency for Energy and the Michigan Public Service Commission.

The project is funded under Michigan’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) statute. PACE can pay for new heating and cooling systems, lighting improvements, solar panels, water pumps, insulation, and more for almost any commercial, industrial, non-profit, and agricultural property. PACE financing pays for 100% of a project’s costs and is repaid for up to 20 years. PACE financing stays with the building with an assessment added to the property’s tax bill upon sale. That makes PACE loans more secure for lenders, so they’re willing to make energy improvement loans on longer terms than the otherwise would.

“The Michigan Agency for Energy is committed to reducing our energy usage and to being more efficient,” said Valerie Brader, director of the agency. “Our combined efforts with our landlord and Ameresco have allowed us to effectively upgrade our facilities while utilizing taxpayer dollars in the most effective and environmentally responsible way. In addition, we are the first state agency in the United States to utilize PACE financing for energy efficiency measures and renewable energy.”

The upgrades include interior and exterior LED lighting, an energy kiosk, and a new pole-mounted 20kw solar array. By using PACE, the owner was able to obtain 20-year, fixed-rate financing for the clean energy measures. Annual energy savings are expected to exceed $25,000, more than the annual payments on the loan. In addition, Saginaw Plaza is able to take advantage of the tax credits. Additional energy conservation measures were identified during the energy audit and implemented by the developer including additional
insulation, two electric vehicle charging stations and weatherization. In the future, the owner also plans to include a new Michigan-made daylight emulation skylight by Arborlight.

The project is expected to be completed by Aug. 31.

More about MAE at www.michigan.gov/energy. More about the MPSC at www.michigan.gov/mpsc. More about Ameresco at www.ameresco.com.

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