Step 8 Evaluating OMR Requirements

With the installation of any energy system, there will be a change in OM&R requirements at the facility. This change may be minor or major. If new motors, pumps, or lighting fixtures are installed, there will usually be a relatively minor, predictable impact. Generally, these produce a slight decrease in OM&R requirements when an older, more maintenance-intensive inventory of equipment is replaced with newer, less maintenance-intensive equipment. The group replacement nature of this type of retrofit allows for more controlled and predictable ongoing maintenance practices, such as group relamping. They also generally produce an initial OM&R savings as lamps and ballasts or motors are replaced midway through their replacement cycle with all new equipment. In the case of installing a prime mover for power generation or mechanical drive service, there will generally be a major change in OM&R requirements. Additional operators may be required and additional preventative maintenance and repair services will be required. Examples of additional OM&R cost factors are lubricating oil consumption, chemical treatment and effluent disposal, and periodic overhaul.

In any case, the analyst should include all OM&R factors in the analysis, including anticipated future overhaul or replacement costs. OM&R requirements will be based on consideration of the intended operating duty, including not only hours of operation, but load variation and frequency of systems starting and stopping. In developing the integrated life-cycle analysis, these anticipated costs should be inserted in the years they are expected to be incurred. Long-term complete service contracts (if applicable) are included in the calculations as such. In addition to regular system maintenance costs, there may be other operation costs to be included, such as additional personnel required to operate the system and costs associated with the hiring of plant operators.

The incremental cost analysis of OM&R provides a more realistic and precise view of the actual cost. For example, compare a prime mover-driven equipment application and an electric motor-driven alternative. While the prime mover will likely have a far greater OM&R cost than the electric motor, motor maintenance and overhaul are not free. Therefore, the incremental cost consists of the OM&R cost of the prime mover minus the OM&R cost of the electric motor.

When analyzing multiple alternatives, the OM&R cost of each should be inserted into the analysis. When evaluating one alternative with respect to another, or a base case, the incremental OM&R cost can be determined by subtracting one from the other. In developing projections for OM&R costs, vendor quotes are very helpful. Even if work is to be done in-house, vendor quotes for operations, routine maintenance, and cradle-to-grave service options provide meaningful insight to market costs and consistency between options. For each system under consideration, the equipment vendor should be asked to provide a proposal for various short- and long-term OM&R options.

Fuel and power management services and their associated costs require additional analysis to accurately evaluate the benefits of pipeline installation, transportation or wheeling initiatives, and end-use and central plant technology conversions to alternate fuels. These service requirements include forecasting plant usage and market conditions, negotiations and procurement arrangements, execution of curtailment strategies, managing daily volumes and storage requirements, regulatory monitoring and invoice reconciliation. Whether the facility or an outside firm provides these services, the operational costs of the various supply options must be included for analysis in their development.

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