Integral Energy is a company providing a wide range of natural gas services, including compressed natural gas (CNG) and alternative fuels to public, private and government entities. Integral Energy was given an opportunity to work with Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) through their Procurement Department’s unsolicited proposal program.
Anddrikk Frazier, Managing Partner at Integral Energy has nearly 20 years of experience with power production, project management, station construction, natural gas, and business development. With that being said, Integral Energy, serves to support the Environmental Policy goals of the organizations they partner with and is committed to offering solutions for achieving targets and objectives as efficiently as possible.
The team at Integral has performed evaluations for transportation organizations, similar to HART that revealed monthly energy losses of up to 20% due to preventable inefficiencies in CNG processes. The primary goal of this project with HART was to identify opportunities to improve the efficiency of the CNG station, streamline the procurement process for natural gas and CNG station Operations & Maintenance (O&M) and reduce operating costs, while improving its ability to report tangible results and supporting its Environmental Policy commitments. HART has remained dedicated environmental advocates and has taken deliberate action towards reducing carbon pollution by 4,285 metric tons by 2018, from its revenue fleet vehicles and pursuing ISO 14001 certification for its Environmental Management System (EMS). Continuous improvement of its environmental performance is vital to the organization and its environmental programs, which include greenhouse gas (GHG), electricity & water consumption, and waste reduction initiatives.
To complete these goals, Anddrikk and his team provided consultative services on this project that was comprised of three phases. The first two phases have just recently been completed, and the third phase is ongoing. Because HART has the ability to solicit competitive bids from all of the suppliers, the first part of this project was to create a Gas Supplier Contract, which is a solicitation list of resources for natural gas. Before drawing up this solicitation, HART first had to analyze their Natural Gas consumption since they are transferring their entire fleet entirely from diesel to natural gas.
Furthermore, Integral Energy prides itself on being the only trusted energy services provider that invests the amount of diligence necessary to save on all energy needs, while fostering a deliberate reduction in HART’s carbon footprint. Integral Energy assisted HART in honestly quantifying the total cost of natural gas, explained the purchasing of natural gas and the payment for the supplier, distribution cost, electric consumption, maintenance, etc. HART first began transitioning their fleet from diesel to natural gas in 2014. To date, 29% of the fleet has been converted. It is projected through analysis that just this next year there will be an approximate $85,000 savings based off of the volume of the anticipated natural gas consumption.
The second phase included consultative services at HART’s CNG plant located at its main maintenance facility in East Tampa. In order to run a CNG facility, HART needs to pay a third party service provider to operate and maintain the system. Originally, the company who designed and built the station in 2013 had been in charge of O&M. However, because HART continuously tracks energy consumption around the enterprise, they found that most of the energy consumption came from the CNG station. Integral Energy and its team completed a balance of plant study that examined the efficiency of the plant. A detailed data analysis was performed to account for every therm dispensed to CNG vehicles and identify points of faulty data or equipment.
Once all the data was collected and analyzed, Integral provided a full detailed report of gas losses and/or CNG equipment performance to ensure the O&M fees where aligned with the volume of natural gas dispensed to each vehicle. There is an industry standard of approximately 8 to 10% CNG loss during the fueling process, however, the analysis displayed losses up to 2 times greater than industry standards. Additional analysis revealed that at times the CNG equipment was using twice as much energy as it was originally specified and designed too.
Instead of extending the contract with its current O&M provider at the contracts renewal date, HART decided to solicit O&M services from other firms. Using the data gathered from the aforementioned balance of plant study, Integral Energy provided HART with objective insight and assisted in writing technical specifications and contract language for a CNG Station O&M Request for Proposal (RFP).
A key specification in the RFP required that O&M billing be based off of the volume of gas dispensed into fleet vehicles. This was materially different from the previous O&M contract, which billed maintenance charges based off of the volume of gas that comes into the inlet of the CNG station. This in turn incentivizes the O&M provider to run the facility most efficiently based off of industry standards. Additionally, environmental performance criteria was included in the technical specifications, which required the service provider to submit a plan to reduce energy consumption of the CNG equipment by 25% without negatively impacting fueling operations, such as fueling times. Utilizing procurement strategy to directly align improving environmental performance with one of HART’s most basic needs – fueling vehicles, has proven to be a successful approach. The resulting new O&M contract that was recently awarded will save HART up to $2.1M over the next 5 years and help reach the 5% energy consumption reduction goal.
The third and last part of this project revolves around the goals relating to the EMS. This is an ongoing phase with Integral offering continuous support until September 2017. Integral Energy and its team will preform a detailed energy analysis, as well as identifying tax incentives, energy grants, financing and/or funding available that can further reduce operational costs. The project team will utilize the ISO 14001 standard to complete a total assessment of all facilities while looking at where the waste is and what they can do to implement corrective actions in order to become more efficient. Ultimately, the team at Integral Energy will identify opportunities for process improvements and reductions in carbon footprint to assist HART in reaching their five percent goal to reduce energy consumption.
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Categorized in: Work
This post was written by Elevate, Inc.