Biotech to the Rescue

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, biotechnology firms are taking steps to save energy. For example, the Johnson & Johnson Research and Development campus in San Diego features a cogeneration, a solar-power and water-reclamation systems, allowing it to save more than an estimated $1 million annually in utility bills. The cogeneration system uses gas to produce electricity.

John M. Reeds, the maintenance supervisor at the Burnham Institute, San Diego, recently spearheaded an overhaul of the institute’s heating and cooling plant, allowing the nonprofit to save at least $41,000 per month in electric costs.

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) partially funded the cost of installing the new system, called Hartman’s Loop. SDG&E paid $450,000 to subsidize the cost, while Burnham paid $365,000. According to utility’s consultants, payback to Burnham would be achieved in less than 12 months, but the savings actually exceeded estimates.

The Burnham Institute obtained SDG&E’s Energy Champion Award for significant energy reductions, and the Johnson & Johnson facility was recognized similarly by the Council for Sustainable Energy.

Furthermore, SDG&E offers $180 million in rebates and incentives for energy-saving efforts.   EC

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