Consulting & Engineering: Energy & Carbon Management

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Burns & McDonnell for its OnSite Energy and Power practice, where a team of about 140 people do everything from master plans and combined heat and power (CHP) screening and feasibility studies, to designing, building and operating on-site power assets. The group's director, long-time CHP advocate and expert Ed Mardiat, was named CHP Champion for 2012 by the Texas CHP Initiative.

Not all of the group's projects are CHP, but Mardiat and his team educate clients about the sharp efficiency gains and reductions in GHG emissions-100% or more vs. non-CHP configurations-that CHP can achieve by making use of the heat from engines or turbines that would otherwise be wasted.

With the firm's strong position in electric power, an industry for which it performs consulting, engineering, procurement and construction, the OnSite Energy group also engages electric utility clients in exploring how to integrate distributed CHP into business models built on central generation, transmission and distribution. With electricity demand expected to be flat for some time, "the investor-owned utilities have to think about how they're going to make new sources of revenue," said Mardiat for CCBJ's recent CHP edition. "Selling thermal energy and even O&M services through ownership of on-site CHP may become a more compelling value proposition for some." And seeing more future generation built in CHP mode would have.

Environmental Resources Management (ERM) for building on its substantial environmental work with the oil and gas industry to develop a robust GHG monitoring and management practice driven by EPA reporting requirements and by the growing recognition in the oil and gas industry that GHG reporting is important for investors and other stakeholders. In 2013, ERM had over 300 employees working internationally for the oil and gas industry on air quality and GHG reporting and mitigation.

ERM reported to CCBJ in 2013 that after an initial "reactionary" period by U.S. operators-required for the first time to collect and report emissions from upstream operations-there has been "a shift toward integrating the GHG reporting with broader air compliance programs," according to Lisa Campbell, climate change services practice lead for the oil and gas industry. Companies increasingly want to ensure that there GHG "data is robust enough not just for reporting but to help them understand where and how they can most efficiently reduce their GHG emissions and their energy consumption."

To manage and report all air emissions data more efficiently, clients frequently draw on ERM's Sustainability Information Solutions (SIS) practice. Using an in-house visualization tool, ERM helps clients map out baseline energy usage and GHG emissions from individual processes or facilities then identify upgrades such as vent and flare gas recovery, capturing flashing losses from hydrocarbon storage tanks, recovering waste heat and replacing pneumatic devices used in natural gas operations for reduction in gas emissions.

AECOM for partnering with CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project) to produce CDP's 2013 Cities Global Report. CDP is an independent, not-for-profit organization that works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drive sustainable water use.

CDP's annual cities report provides a snapshot of the challenges and opportunities cities face due to the global increase of carbon emissions as well as the ways they are adapting to existing and future climatic changes. AECOM volunteered its expertise to provide data analysis, communications and visualization techniques in producing the 2013 report, as it did for the 2012 report.

The 2013 cities global report was based on data disclosed by 110 cities, an increase from the 73 cities that reported in 2012. The 2013 report shows how climate change action is making cities healthier and even wealthier. Cities are cutting their carbon footprint, reporting annual energy savings of up to US$13 million, and their residents are benefitting from healthier living and better business environments, according to the report.

O'Brien & Gere for supporting development of the first comprehensive smart growth plan for regional energy and sustainability in Central New York. The VisionCNY plan provides a vision and framework for an innovative, clean energy economy that the firm predicts will stimulate investment, create jobs, and meet energy needs over a horizon ending in 2030.

O'Brien & Gere led the energy management planning process, including establishing a vision, goals to guide stakeholders in addressing energy-related issues, and recommendations to achieve these objectives. The firm identified strategies to improve energy efficiency and security; increase distributed energy resources and renewable energy deployment; develop alternative financing tools that support sustainable energy investments; improve waste management; and reduce greenhouse emissions.

O'Brien & Gere also developed a Pathway to Projects approach to translate sustainability concepts to the prioritization of energy projects. The Company screened the region for potential sites for solar PV, wind, geothermal, and CHP deployment, creating a project list that will create opportunities for carbon reductions, energy efficiency savings and renewable energy deployment. The project was sponsored by the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board for the CNY Regional Economic Development Council five-county area and supported by the NYS Cleaner, Greener Communities Program.