NwOESC receiving $1 million upgrade

Staff report

The Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center is partnering with Dynamix Energy Services of Columbus to implement a nearly $1 million facility improvement and energy conservation project.

The five-month project implementation plan will result in optimized energy efficiency, improved operational efficiency, enhanced learning/working environments for staff, and a variety of additional long-term benefits. Additionally, the replacement of non-functioning controls and mechanical equipment will be paid for with savings and not impact capital budgets.

The project scope includes the installation of a 280 kW DC solar array to more efficiently power the 55,000 square foot NwOESC building, which houses both NwOESC operations, NWOCA operations, and the Activate Clinic Archbold location. Both the interior and exterior lighting will be retrofit to LED lighting. A new facility computerized maintenance management system (FMX) will help staff plan, execute, and manage facility and critical building operating systems.

Cost savings from lighting and controls will provide the facility with much-needed energy usage reductions.

The NwOESC will also be utilizing Orchestrate, an integrated smart building software platform developed by Dynamix to regularly measure and verify energy savings. The new technology will support the facility in more effectively managing their facility systems including solar, lighting, controls, and utility consumption.

Some pieces of the full project have already been put into place. Lighting installation began last week at NwOESC, and should be completed by early December.

The full project had been discussed for more than a year, and meetings with Dynamix began in June. The project was approved by the NwOESC board at an Aug. 25 meeting.

Homer Hendricks, the facility’s chief financial officer, said the entire project is anticipated for completion by next spring.

The project is guaranteed to generate approximately $66,264 in cost-savings in the first year and will maintain similar savings for years to come. The upgrades will also reduce energy and natural gas consumption by 649,670 kWh and 2,406 MCF, respectively. These savings will be used to fund the NwOESC’s much-needed facility upgrades. Additionally, because it will be self-funded through cost savings, the project is cash neutral, making it a sound financial investment for the ESC and the educational entities it serves.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to not only reduce our energy costs…it’s also going to give us educational opportunities with the solar field, to be able to work with students throughout the four-county area, so that they can get some experience in seeing how solar fields work,” Hendricks said. “Not only is it saving money but we’re going to be able to use it educationally and share it with the students who are in our programming and some of our member districts across the four counties.”

Dynamix Energy Services, Northwest Ohio ESC’s partner for the project, is a full-service Energy Services Company that focuses on implementing and installing creative, well-engineered energy solutions that exceed savings goals.

The solar panels and solar racking systems that will be installed are manufactured locally in northwest Ohio, and the bank assisting with project financing is local to Fulton County.

NwOESC, which serves member public school districts in Fulton County, also currently serves more than 23,000 students in 23 school districts and two career centers.

Staff report