Case Study - Statue of Liberty National Monument

Overview

This energy savings performance contract (ESPC) focuses on improvements to the infrastructure, with the addition of energy-efficient lighting, variable-speed drives, and installation of energy management control systems. The contractor, CES/Way, is investing $1 million, and the utility, Public Service Electric & Gas Company, will provide a rebate of $1.3 million. The potential energy savings resulting from this project are about 4 Billion Btu per year, about 75 percent of which will come from Ellis Island.

Background

Ellis Island and the nearby Liberty Island, site of the venerable Statue of Liberty, together form the Statue of Liberty National Monument. Ellis Island has been owned by the U.S. Government since 1808, and was used from 1892 to 1943 as the major entry station for immigrants to the United States. Ellis Island is now managed as a museum by the Department of Interior's National Park Service (NPS).

There are two buildings at Ellis Island, the main Museum of Immigration building, containing a museum, library, staff offices, and cafeteria, and the central plant facility. The smaller Liberty Island contains the Statue of Liberty, which houses a museum and other facilities at its base, and a separate administrative building.

This project was initiated during a visit by Department of Energy (DOE) officials to the monument in 1992, when the Superintendent of the monument expressed an interest in reducing the site's high utility bills. Discussions with DOE staff followed, and a plan was developed for energy-efficient improvements at the monument.

Project Summary

As in any potential ESPC project, it was important to determine the customer's (Government's) primary needs before proceeding. A quick economic analysis up front provided an estimate of the energy and cost savings and the payback period. Liberty National Monument is a good example of the Government wisely deciding to balance improvements to a facility with a modest return of energy-cost savings to the Federal agency.

The focus of the work is on energy efficiency improvements to the infrastructure, including the addition of energy-efficient lighting, variable speed drives, and energy management control systems. The efficiency measures, with the exception of the lighting, are computer controlled at a state-of-the-art power plant. The contractor will maintain all the equipment installed over the 15 year term of the contract.

Benefits of Using an ESPC

At no capital cost, the monument replaced its older equipment with new technologies that will last for years. In addition to the upgrade to infrastructure, this project will help the Statue of Liberty National Monument meet the requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.

Lessons Learned

Lessons learned during this ESPC project led to new opportunities:

Staffing Requirements Augmented: The limited technical and contracting staff at this relatively small Federal facility and its unique requirements resulted in a prolonged implementation period. The Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory assisted NPS staff with many aspects of the project: technical feasibility; contract development, implementation, and negotiation; and project administration. The contracting officer for the Statue of Liberty National Monument stated that the Department of Energy and its National Renewable Energy Laboratory played a pivotal role by providing DOE s ESPC Model Solicitation, assisting the National Park Service with project development, and providing technical and contracting assistance to make the project happen.

Special Considerations for Museum Lighting Met: NPS was concerned with visible and UV light levels resulting from the implementation of this project. The contract required adherence to visible light and UV light specifications to ensure conservation of artifacts displayed throughout Ellis and Liberty museums. Prior to contract award, CES/WAY created a mock-up of various areas to determine the impact of the recommended retrofits on lighting levels. The aesthetics of the ambient lighting were considered, as well as how much task lighting was required to allow visitors to enjoy the displays. To ensure that facility needs are met, it is crucial to negotiate such considerations up front and prior to contract award, especially if retrofits are unique in nature as at Ellis Island.

Project Scope Restricted: Light projecting out from the Statue of Liberty to Manhattan is a well-recognized landmark. Although this project is considered comprehensive concerning the mix of technologies and coverage of modifications throughout, no improvements were made in the energy efficiency of the exterior lighting at the statue. NPS decided it was important to retain the historical nature and visual effects of the lighted statue and excluded any changes to exterior lighting from the contract.

Staff Educated About Energy Efficiency: The issue of determining appropriate light levels for the museum demonstrates the importance of early consultation with staff that will work in areas of a facility undergoing retrofits. Staff input reduces potential dissatisfaction with their surroundings by allowing them to "buy into" the new energy-efficient features of the facility.