Initial Development Steps Scoping Audit

A Scoping Audit is a low-cost, brief review of a facility intended to define the energy and resource savings potential and system infrastructure upgrade requirements. It consists of a preliminary review of resource usage and cost records and a walk-through of the facility. The walkthrough may take one or two days, depending on facility size and system complexity. It should include interviews with key facility engineering and operating personnel, general observation of site conditions and major systems, and identification of known problems for which solutions should be sought. Utility rates and supply contracts, operating conditions (e.g., equipment schedules and controls), and major equipment nameplate data are compiled. Local, state, and regional factors are also considered, such as environmental regulations, weather, gas and electric supply, transmission, and distribution conditions.

Figure 41-1 is a checklist of numerous efficiency and cost reduction measures that may be initially considered during the Scoping Audit, with the objective being to identify those measures that merit more detailed consider ation. This list is by no means exhaustive, but provides a good start. Manufacturing and industrial process efficiency opportunities are mentioned, but a comprehensive list is not provided, as the range of process equipment and systems that may be encountered is so far reaching. Often, in addition to the core study team, experts are brought in to focus on specific processes that are beyond the expertise of the team members, though generally at a later phase in the study process.

As the process advances, results are carried forward, with additional information gathered, and more rigorous analysis is performed during each development phase. Because the scoping phase sets the stage for the remainder of the project, it is wise to dedicate senior staff to conduct these audits. They have the experience to work closely with facility representatives and develop a practical plan for project development that matches the special needs of the facility.

A key element of the Scoping Audit is the identification of facility goals and objectives. These are critical factors that must be identified early in the process. They become important screening criteria for review throughout the project development process. In total, the Scoping Audit allows the team to record the following facility needs and objectives through discussions with facility management:

• Long-range master plans for renovation, expansion, or new construction

• Cost reduction goals, financing preferences, investment thresholds, and risk tolerance

• Equipment and energy source preferences

• Design standards to maintain consistency with existing equipment and spare parts inventories

• Current operational and/or maintenance problems

• Equipment replacement needs dictated by age, capacity, or refrigerant phase-out plans

• Price and risk management objectives for the procurement of energy supplies

• Constraints such as reliability, safety, sound, aesthetics, historical preservation, and environmental regulations

• Inadequate comfort control or indoor air quality

At the conclusion of the Scoping Audit, a brief report should then be developed to indicate likely areas of focus and establish an overall order of magnitude of the project opportunities. The report should also indicate particular areas of expertise required for the study. Based on Scoping Audit results and the desired level of study certainty, the time, effort, and analyst expertise requirements can be established. Once a final budget is established and authorization to proceed is provided by the host facility, the senior member of the study team must make a realistic assessment of what can be accomplished and how, and then formulate a Project Development Plan.

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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