Santa Ana College hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday to mark the start of construction on a new central plant and utility infrastructure project designed to make its facilities more energy efficient.
We dropped by for a bit, and here’s what we learned:
The college, which is celebrating its 100th year, has about 614,000 gross square feet of building space that’s currently not connected to any central chilled water system. Instead, these structures rely on standalone HVAC systems.
The construction of a new 23,685-square-foot central plant — and the replacement of the campus’ underground utility infrastructure — will convert seven buildings, or approximately 250,000 gross square feet, to a centralized chilled water system with thermal energy storage that will increase efficiency and reduce the campus’ peak electrical demand.
With these improvements, Santa Ana College expects to reduce its electrical consumption by more than 2.1 million kilowatt hours per year — and achieve a savings of more than $9 million over 20 years.
“The construction of the new central plant and utility infrastructure marks a milestone for Santa Ana College,” Santa Ana College President Erlinda J. Martinez said in a statement. “As we celebrate our centennial, Measure Q is helping us move into a new era of energy efficiency. We are grateful to the local voters who approved this $198 million general obligation bond to renovate and construct new facilities at Santa Ana College. There are more to come.”