Sacramento Railyards Central Utility Plant Feasibility and Cost Analysis

CLIENT: Sacramento Municipal Utility District

IEC produced a thorough report to determine the equipment and associated cost of installing a Central Utility Plant and distribution piping network at the Railyard development. This included recommending the major equipment that would best serve the heating and cooling needs of the Railyard development, defining the space requirements for the plant, determination of O&M costs, and determination of capital costs for cogeneration equipment. All calculations were performed using EconExpert software.

The overall focus of this project was to evaluate and develop a business plan for SMUD ownership of a Heating and Cooling plant for the new Sacramento Railyards development. The Railyards redevelopment will transform a 240-acre greenfield site (formerly the site of the Union Pacific Railyards) into a commercial and residential development. This includes entertainment venues, retail establishments, mixed-use high-density housing, office space, theatres, open space, riverfront amenities, parks, hotels and museums. SMUD approached IEC to conduct an in-depth engineering analysis and develop a complete report to estimate the scope and cost of installing a central energy supply plant and distribution system to serve the development.

To complete the engineering analysis, IEC evaluated various Central Utility Plant configurations, selected the best overall configuration that would meet the needs of the Railyards heating and cooling demand, and compared it to the base case which involves no Central Utility Plant. To select the best configuration, the analysis evaluated various parameters including: equipment types, plant efficiency, NOx emissions, greenhouse gas emissions, capital cost, operation and maintenance cost, electrical peak demand and usage requirements, natural gas fuel consumption, and space requirements. The best configuration was then compared to the standard heating and cooling equipment traditionally installed at each building and structure to determine the benefits of installing a Central Utility Plant.

SMUD found the report to be very thorough and well prepared, and as a result, additional work was assigned to IEC to perform an analysis of three additional options for the system.