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Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea receives energy efficiency rebate check

What started as a chiller replacement study quickly turned into an energy and maintenance savings plan for Mayo Clinic Health System Albert Lea.

According to a press release, the group effort has led Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services to offer a $30,000 energy efficiency rebate check to Mayo Clinic Health System.

“We would also like to thank Bryan Skogheim and staff at Freeborn-Mower for working with us on the energy efficiency rebate, their guidance and expertise has made this a very successful project,” said Mike Gresser, facility manager for Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Gresser said the medical facility decided to purchase a more expensive water-cooled option that will generate a larger operational cost savings per calendar year than comparable air-cooled chiller system.

“Original energy saving estimates suggested that a new water-cooled chiller system could reduce our peak load by as much as 576 kilowatts, saving approximately $90,000 each year in electricity costs for the facility and patients,” Gresser said. “In addition to the electric savings, maintenance costs are anticipated to be reduced, plus the neighborhood noise level of air cooled units has been eliminated.”

The majority of the savings associated with the project will be achieved during the months of June, July and August, according Skogheim, who is energy adviser at Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services. The new equipment has been in operation for approximately two months.

Mayo Clinic Health System staff worked with Skogheim, MEP Engineering and Dairyland Power to review the project and have verified electric savings of approximately $21,000 for the month of July.

“It is the largest single project in terms of energy and demand savings that we have been able to claim toward the annual Minnesota Conservation Improvement Program energy savings goal,” said Mike Murtaugh, director of energy services at Freeborn-Mower Cooperative Services.

“We are extremely pleased with the new chiller plant and its early performance data,” Gresser said. “It’s been quite a learning curve for the maintenance staff going from what we had to this new system. We are still fine tuning the plant for optimum performance and are confident we have a reliable cooling system for many years to come.”