MTU Onsite Energy Power System Plays a Dual Role for The LEED-Certified Blue Earth County Criminal Justice Center

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A 2,000kW emergency standby power system from MTU Onsite Energy is providing emergency standby power plus a load-shedding function that reduces the facility’s demand on the local utility and helps cut its carbon footprint.

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"The 2,000-kW emergency standby power system was sized to power the entire building,” says Tim Edwards, physical plant director for the facility. “This includes our ground-water heat pump HVAC system, lighting and elevators.."

When Blue Earth County officials set about building a new jail and justice center, they had several goals in mind. At the very least, the new facility had to meet compliance standards for staffing and inmate housing (the previous building didn’t, and that fact became the catalyst for the project). In addition, the facility had to house all offices under one roof (previously, offices and courtrooms were scattered throughout the downtown area). But the most challenging goal was to create a public building that minimized its impact on the environment. That goal was realized when the Blue Earth County Criminal Justice Center became the first public LEED®-certified building in southern Minnesota.

The 168,000-square-foot building incorporates many energy- and water-saving technologies—such as a geothermal ground source heat pump system to heat and cool the building—and features the use of recycled and recyclable building materials. The emergency standby power system from MTU Onsite Energy also contributes to the building’s green appeal. It is used not only for backup power in case of utility failure, but also as an auxiliary power source to remove the building’s load from the local utility during periods of peak electricity demand. The versatile power system was cited in the facility’s LEED certification application as one example of its efforts to cut energy use and reduce its carbon footprint.

Full story: http://www.cccinc.com/pr/mtuonsite/blueearth

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Jennifer Riley
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