Courtesy Burns & Mc Donnell.
The South Energy Center provides ample cooling capacity for the hospital via two 1,500-ton electrical centrifugal
chillers and one 1,200-ton steam turbine centrifugal chiller.
to be a significant advantage over private
finance alternatives. Another big advantage
was that, as the local utility, GRU could
export power to the grid. This helped drive
the economics of an on-site CHP system
to a level that was competitive with the
economies of scale typically achieved by
much larger generating assets. Another
significant advantage was GRU’s pool of
qualified staff with significant experience
operating and maintaining a fleet of central
station gas turbine generators.
of its recent design-build experience on a
similar CHP project for Austin Energy at Dell
Children’s Medical Center in Austin, Texas.
There Burns & McDonnell had installed a
CHP system as part of a packaged, modular
plant that helped the hospital become
the first LEED® (Leadership in Energy and
Environmental Design) Platinum-certified
hospital in the world.
GRU Builds Its Team
Shands’ request for proposal for the
energy center, issued in 2006, required
respondents to have a proven track record
of design and construction of similar CHP
facilities; so it was apparent to GRU that
it needed to bring on a team member with
Shands also had a very aggressive
schedule: The energy center needed to
be operational 12 months prior to the
November 2009 hospital opening, to provide
cooling and heating for dry-out during
hospital construction. Because of the need
to minimize schedule risk, among other
conditions, GRU had decided that a design-build project delivery approach was needed.
After evaluating the qualifications of
a number of design and construction firms,
GRU selected Burns & McDonnell because
Making the Numbers Work
Next GRU turned its attention to project
financing. Shands was interested in pursuing
a 50-year contract in which the energy
partner would own and operate the plant.
GRU’s strong credit and ability to utilize tax-exempt municipal bond financing would help
differentiate the utility’s proposal from those
of other for-profit entities bidding the project.
Burns & McDonnell worked closely with
GRU to evaluate how to incorporate CHP as
part of Shands’ district energy system. The
partners developed an innovative financial
and technical proposal that suggested a
state-of-the-art combustion turbine with
a competitive heat rate efficiency. The
proposal allowed both Shands and GRU to
achieve specific business and operational
objectives. GRU’s proposal, submitted in fall
2006, was the only one Shands received that
Early in 2007, Shands selected GRU as
its energy center partner. Shands would
agree to pay all capital costs as part of
monthly capital cost recovery over the term
of the agreement; production costs for elec-
tricity, chilled water and steam; pass-through
costs for fuel (natural gas, electricity and
diesel) and medical gas; and operations and
maintenance costs incurred by GRU.
State-of-the-Art Inside and Out
Construction on the South Energy
Center began in 2007. During the first half