Bradenton chiller plant recognized nationally

A chiller plant in Bradenton led to Manatee County government placing 14th in a national competition from the Environmental Protection Agency.

Manatee County placed 14th among 125 teams in the ENERGY STAR National Building Competition for the downtown chiller plant as well as other energy saving measures, according to a news release.

“To receive the honor and recognition is incredible, especially considering we were competing against corporate giants like Sears and Verizon,” Michelle Powers, county energy and sustainability coordinator, said in the release. “Earning this national recognition will help establish Manatee County as dedicated in the energy and sustainability sector which can open up the door for grants and other funding toward green initiatives in the future.”

In 2015, the downtown buildings lowered energy consumption by more than 7 percent and reduced carbon emissions by 7.2 tons. In addition to the chiller plant, upgraded lighting systems and a new centralized heating ventilation air conditioning control system contributed to the bulk of the energy savings, according to the release.

“I’m extremely proud of the time, effort and dedication our energy and sustainability team put into this project,” Charlie Bishop, county property management director, said in the release. “They do great work that’s resulting in substantial energy and dollar savings to the taxpayers of Manatee County.”

Commissioner John Chappie announced the news during Tuesday’s commission meeting.

“It’s a major, major accomplishment for our guys,” he said. “This isn’t the end. We are still moving strong for energy savings.”

Claire Aronson: 941-745-7024, @Claire_Aronson