McKinstry and Colorado School of Mines Expand Partnership with Solar Feasibility Study

McKinstry to undertake feasibility study for campus-wide solar PV system in collaboration with Capstone Design@Mines

GOLDEN, Colo. (Jan 13, 2020) — McKinstry, a full-service, design-build-operate-and-maintain (DBOM) firm specializing in consulting, construction, energy and facility services, continues to expand its partnership with Colorado School of Mines through a new solar feasibility study for the installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems campus-wide. The study will provide an understanding of the overall costs, benefits, and the potential PV capacity that could be installed on the central campus and Mines Park.

“McKinstry is excited to incorporate a student engagement component in the solar study through the Capstone Design@Mines program,” said Leslie Larocque, McKinstry’s Vice President, Energy & Technical Services for the Mountain Region. “Under the direction of our powerED team, students will work and design the study for Mines Park (a small section of the north campus) which will be incorporated into the larger study.”

The project team will gather data, conduct audits and perform analyses to model and design recommended systems. Students will use tools like CAD and Helioscope modeling to help create case studies using actual project data, review their analyses with McKinstry engineers and present the findings of this study as their capstone project. Capstone Design@Mines collaborates with industry, government agencies, and community organizations to put students on the front lines of innovation and discovery through real-world challenges.

“Working with the McKinstry team has been an overwhelmingly positive experience and through this project the team has grown as engineers,” said RJ Scavo, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering at Mines. “We cannot thank McKinstry enough for all the guidance we have received throughout the semester.”

McKinstry completed a 74 kW solar array on campus in September at the new McNeil Hall, which is predicted to generate 100 MWh of energy each year. The array was part of a building retrofit and operational improvement effort energy performance contract (EPC) that began in 2018. In the same year, Mines implemented McKinstry’s powerED energy awareness and savings program. The program uses a highly collaborative approach to increase staff and student awareness and engagement, identify energy savings opportunities, communicate performance results and promote success.

The entire McKinstry EPC project is expected to save Mines nearly $451,500 annually through reduced utility and operational costs. These savings will cover the $4.8 million project over a 10.5-year payback period. McKinstry also helped Mines secure $95,000 in utility rebates to offset initial costs.

About McKinstry
McKinstry is a national leader in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining high-performing buildings. From new construction and ongoing operations to adaptive reuse and energy retrofits, the company provides a single point of accountability across the entire building lifecycle. McKinstry focuses on people and outcomes to ensure the built environment serves owners, operators and occupants alike. McKinstry is your trusted partner for the life of your building. Learn more at www.McKinstry.com.

About powerED

McKinstry’s powerED program is a systematic behavioral and awareness program that encourages staff and students to learn about energy efficiency measures and how behavioral changes can lower utility costs, save energy, decrease carbon emissions, and create a healthier environment. The engagement campaign within the powerED program, named People.Power.Planet, uses a website and other activities to help staff and students to commit to, learn about, engage with and compete to reduce energy consumption across campus.

About Colorado School of Mines

Colorado School of Mines is a public university focused on science and engineering, dedicated to educating and inspiring students, advancing knowledge, and innovating to address the great challenges society faces today—particularly those related to the Earth, energy and the environment. Founded in 1874 with specialties in mining and metallurgy, Mines’ scope and mission have expanded to meet the needs of industry and society, producing distinctive graduates and revolutionary innovations, and becoming a world leader in advancing sustainable use of the Earth’s resources.

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