In July 2019, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) was given approval by the University of Arkansas System Trustees for a $150 million Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) that will be administered through the Arkansas Energy Performance Contracting (AEPC) program and implemented by Bernhard. The project is the largest energy savings project in the State of Arkansas, the largest in the academic and healthcare sector, and one of the largest in the United States.
UAMS, like many academic health centers, is facing of a perfect storm of declining and capped health care reimbursements, declining state support for higher education, and ever-increasing costs. By leveraging guaranteed capital and operating cost savings provided through the ESPC project, UAMS can address $116 million in critical and other deferred maintenance needs and implement $34 million in incremental energy efficiency measures. The project includes controls upgrades, retrofitting interior and exterior lighting, installation of campus wide metering, installation of a new generator plant, upgrading essential electrical systems and infrastructure, in addition to upgrading lab controls, mechanical equipment, plants and systems.
The project will provide UAMS a guaranteed positive annual cash flow ($4.8 million per year average savings) over the term of the agreement, provide 100% back-up power to the entire campus, and funds upgrades to Pine and Cedar Boulevard that will create 300 additional parking spaces immediately adjacent to the campus.