Engineered Systems Magazine

Honeywell awarded $213 million project with FDA headquarters

March 16, 2011

Honeywell has won a $213-million contract with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) to support the continued development of on-site utilities and energy infrastructure at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) headquarters - the White Oak Federal Research Center in Silver Spring, MD. This is the fifth major energy-conservation contract for Honeywell at the White Oak campus.

The new 20-year agreement, among the largest awarded since the Department of Energy introduced the energy savings performance contract (ESPC) program in 1998, will be funded from the downstream energy and operational savings the work produces. Honeywell guarantees the savings so the project will not increase operating budgets or require additional taxpayer dollars.

In addition, compared to traditional construction techniques, the project is expected to save almost 48 million kilowatt-hours of electricity per year and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 24,000 metric tons annually. According to figures from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to removing 4,600 cars from the road.

The centerpiece of the project is the construction of a central utility plant that will meet the heating, cooling and energy requirements of a 1.2-million-sq-ft expansion for the FDA’s Center for Biological Evaluation and Research. Honeywell will integrate the new central plant with the existing plant at White Oak, optimizing the efficient delivery of utilities to the entire campus, and strengthening energy security by reducing reliance on the traditional electrical grid.

The new central plant will include two 7.5 megawatt (MW) dual-fuel turbine generators, a 4.5 MW natural gas turbine generator, two 2.25 MW diesel standby generators and a 5 MW steam turbine generator. It will also include three 2,500-ton chillers and a 2-million gallon thermal energy storage tank, which can act as a backup for the campus if municipal water services are temporarily lost. In total, the plant will be capable of producing up to 250,000 MW-hours of electricity each year - enough energy to power more than 23,000 homes.

By leveraging the plant’s on-site generation capabilities, the government can avoid utility costs and generate revenue through incentives from PJM Interconnection, the independent system operator that controls the region’s electrical systems, for running on self-generated power during hot summer days when increased demand strains the grid.

Under the agreement, Honeywell will also upgrade lighting systems in parking garages with high-efficiency light-emitting diode fixtures and occupancy sensors.

GSA expects to complete the new section of the White Oak campus in late 2013. Honeywell will provide ongoing operations and maintenance services when the research center and central plant are fully commissioned in 2014.