Case Study: Performance Contracting

Kentucky State Parks

Kentucky Department of ParksEastern Kentucky

Increased Energy Efficiency for Ten Parks in Eastern Kentucky

This guaranteed energy savings performance contract with the Kentucky Department of Parks encompassed 875,000 square feet and included ten eastern Kentucky state parks:

  • Blue Licks Battlefield
  • Buckhorn Lake
  • Carter Caves
  • Cumberland Falls
  • Fort Boonesborough
  • Greenbo Lake Resort
  • Jenny Wiley
  • Levi Jackson
  • Natural Bridge
  • Pine Mountain 

These parks are home to over 850 campsites, almost 1,400 acres of lakes, five State Park lodges, and countless hiking trails.

The Challenges

  • Handling variety of infrastructure issues, including inconsistent HVAC systems, water leaks, and winterization difficulties
  • Managing the geographic scope of the project
  • Working within the limitations of the job sites
  • Staying on schedule while the parks were operational
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The Solutions

New geothermal HVAC systems were installed at five parks. The advantages that geothermal energy brought to the project, including little maintenance, elimination of theft and liability concerns, and 50% longer life expectancy than air-cooled equipment, works well for these expansive parks. For one park, CMTA also installed our first lake-sourced geothermal system. This innovative system relies on a nearby lake to reject and absorb heat, rather than a traditional bore field.

CMTA was also able to connect these far-flung sites with state-of-the-art technology. Maintenance and management staff can now operate HVAC and power controls from any location with internet access, yielding increased energy efficiency.

Additionally, 485 buildings were upgraded with LED lighting, and 185 plumbing fixtures were replaced. 213 split systems improved those that were past useful life.

Energy Efficiency for Year-Round Use

Due to the varying energy profiles of the Kentucky State Parks, additions that included occupancy sensors and envelope improvements such as spray foam insulation and weatherstripping helped to maintain energy efficiency, while also providing for year-round use. To help in cold weather months, CMTA also reworked the bath house piping at the Blue Licks Battlefield and Fort Boonesborough parks to winterize draining, extending the useful months of the facilities.

The Results

This project was guaranteed to save 15,057 gallons of diesel, 30,468,000 gallons of domestic water, and 7,529,190 kWh of electricity annually. Utility bills demonstrate that the ten parks have saved over 19% in their kWh electric usage, 11% in kW energy usage, and 4.4% in water and sewer usage annually. The Kentucky Department of Parks is currently realizing an average yearly savings of $1,412,222. With the overall project cost of $15,165,676, the project will be fully paid for within 14 years post-construction. Excess Year 1 savings were $329,746!

With these upgrades, extended park operational hours were achieved year-round, and there has been a 30% occupancy increase post-project. 

Carter Caves State Park Energy Use

What does this data mean?
Baseline: The annual energy consumption before the project
Guaranteed: CMTA's guaranteed energy use for the client post-project
Actual: The measured energy use after the project