A solar power plant in west Oak Ridge is one of two projects recognized with 2016 Energy Sustainability Awards by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Teams at the two DOE Environmental Management, or EM, sites were recognized for spearheading projects that have saved taxpayer dollars while promoting efficiency and smart use of DOE resources, a press release said.
“The DOE Sustainability Performance Office highlighted efforts at the Oak Ridge and Savannah River sites as outstanding contributions to the department’s goal of improving environmental, energy, and economic performance while reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” the press release said.
UCOR, the prime contractor for Oak Ridge’s EM program, helped the small business subcontractor Restoration Services Inc. team with community partners to build a one-megawatt utility scale photovoltaic power generating project called Powerhouse Six that became operational in April 2015.
It’s the third, and largest, solar array at the East Tennessee Technology Park, or ETTP, where the last of five gaseous diffusion buildings is being demolished. Under EM’s reindustrialization program, property at ETTP is being transferred to the private sector to make the site an industrial park.
The solar plant generates enough clean energy to power more than 100 homes while preventing pollution that is the equivalent to removing 240 cars from the road annually.
Powerhouse Six was developed through a partnership between RSI and solar firm Vis Solis Inc., and community partners, the City of Oak Ridge, and the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee.
Oak Ridge personnel earning recognition were Caroline Barber, Gil Hough, Betsy Child, Cathy Hickey, Gill Sallade, John Seale, and Perry Spurling.
UCOR is also known as URS | CH2M Oak Ridge LLC.
At Savannah River, a partnership between the site and the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization, or SRSCRO, has provided an opportunity for thousands of pieces of no-longer-needed equipment and other excess government-owned items to be made available for beneficial use to local governments, nonprofits, and private businesses, the press release said.
“To give you an idea of the range of items that have been donated and put to good use over the years, we’re talking about piping, a waste debris pelletizer, electronics, furniture, copper wire, motor generators, air conditioners, and even an air boat and locomotive engine,” said Parodio Maith, DOE-Savannah River (DOE-SR) community assistance manager. “If items are not needed somewhere within the DOE complex or at another U.S. government agency, these excess items are made available to the SRSCRO.”
Items not selected are sold for profit that may be used to promote local business development and the DOE mission. In 2014, SRSCRO disbursed about $1 million for infrastructure improvement projects in its region.
In 2015, DOE-SR and the site’s management and operations contractor Savannah River Nuclear Solutions initiated an agreement with SRSCRO on new “assets for services” projects to remove difficult-to-manage excess and surplus items.
Through the program, SRSCRO disassembled 12 large transformers and four oil-filled circuit breakers from a now-closed power plant within the site’s D Area for recovery of 678,000 pounds of copper and other metals and 56,921 gallons of transformer oil. SRSCRO also is removing 38 excess office trailers and 653 excess refrigerant units including ice-makers, heating and ventilating components, refrigerators and water coolers, and fire retardant held in 31 cylinders, the press release said.
Savannah River personnel singled out for recognition were Maith, John Harley, Andrew Albenesius, and Rick McLeod.
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