BJWSA marks latest sustainability project

3 mins read

The Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority (BJWSA) recently completed a project to replace lighting at their administration building as well as at four major treatment plants. The venture with LED Lowcountry, using energy-efficient LED fixtures and lamps, garnered rebates totaling more than $31,000, which were used to help fund the project. The payback in energy savings over the next three years will cover the rest of the cost of the $126,000 project in whole.

Al Legare, director of technical maintenance and SCADA

Under the leadership of Al Legare, director of technical maintenance and SCADA, BJWSA has pursued numerous cost and energy saving initiatives, primarily through the South Carolina Electric & Gas (SCE&G) Energy Wise program and Palmetto Electric Cooperative. Energy Wise also provided a $132,000 rebate in April 2015 for the Authority’s administration building HVAC system.

“The opportunity for projects that have a great payback like this is rare,” Legare said. “We started long ago replacing our parking lot lights with LEDs for a few reasons: The difficulty and frequency of maintaining the old style lighting whether it was high-pressure sodium or metal halide lamps was the biggest driving factor for those. The fact that it saves enough electricity to pay for itself in a couple years is an added bonus that keeps on saving for years to follow. It is very rewarding to discover and see projects such as these come to fruition.”

Legare works tirelessly to identify and submit projects that fit within program guidelines. Once they are approved, he oversees construction, inspection and the rebate process. SCE&G delivers rebates in the form of a lump sum check per project.

Other projects include a recently-installed solar project at two wastewater facilities that will pay for itself after eight to nine years. The savings will continue in the form of less electricity being used/purchased and less maintenance to keep lights functioning. The new Hardeeville Water Reclamation Facility and the new South of Broad Operations Center feature LED lighting and future projects will include smart energy design like these.

“As environmental stewards, the ability to reduce our carbon footprint while also reducing our operating expenses is a big win for BJWSA, our customers and the environment,” Legare said. “This is just the latest project completed and by no means our last. We will continue to explore as technology evolves and take advantage of any opportunity that makes sense.”

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