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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced that it has signed a contract to significantly improve energy efficiency at its Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Tex., that will result in an estimated savings of over $2 million per year.  This contract will also help the facility, which is part of the nation's nuclear weapons complex, meet a two percent reduction in overall energy usage each year as required by the energy legislation signed by President George W. Bush in August, 2005.

"The Pantex Plant plays an important role in America's national security, but by further improving energy efficiency, we will also increase our energy security," said Linton Brooks, administrator of DOE's National Nuclear Security Administration.  "The energy improvements at Pantex will serve as a model for using less energy and significantly reducing energy costs."

Under the contract, NORESCO, an energy services company headquartered in Westborough, Mass., will oversee the improvements through an energy savings performance contract (ESPC).  These energy conservation measures will cost approximately $19.5 million over 19 years, saving the Pantex Plant approximately $38 million in that same time frame -- over $2 million per year.  The cost of implementing such energy-saving changes will be used to pay NORESCO for their services; however, the return on investment in terms of cost and energy savings is expected to be great. 

Energy-saving measures will include:  installing new energy-efficient lighting systems and control systems to reduce waste in heating and air-conditioning systems, repairing leaks in steam systems, installing energy-efficient cooling systems and renovating dehumidifiers needed for industrial operations.  NORESCO will also perform maintenance and repair for some of the equipment. 

NORESCO has been working at the Pantex Plant since 2001 to make energy efficiency improvements at the facility.

For more information about the Pantex Plant, please see: http://www.pantex.com/.