The Civic Center in Encinitas, Calif., received the Association of Energy Engineers’ 2009 International Award in the Renewable Energy Project of the Year category.

As part of the retrofit project, a hybrid cooling system, which included Calmac’s IceBank energy storage tanks and Trane’s cool water system, was installed at the Civic Center and reduced its energy costs by 43 percent, according to the association.

The hybrid cooling system makes and stores ice at night during off-peak times, when utility rates are far less expensive and when cleaner baseload plants are used. Chillers are sized to handle energy demand efficiently and stored energy kicks in when needed. This decreases the civic center’s cooling costs and reduces its effect on the energy grid by shifting energy demands to less expensive rates. Over the next 25 years, the project is estimated to save the Civic Center more than $4 million in utility bills.

Behind the retrofit design was engineering firm PE Consulting, and engineering, construction and alternative energy provider Xnergy.

“We proposed the retrofit project to the city council with the goal of meeting LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification,” said Doug Poffinbarger, CEO of PE Consulting. “Calmac’s energy storage tanks played a significant role in the design, exceeding our expectations in engineering support. We are very proud that the AEE is recognizing Encinitas’ environmental achievement.

Justin Miller, director of business development for Xnergy, said the project had specific requirements the HVAC system would have to meet.

“After the Encinitas City Council unanimously approved our proposal, we began to examine HVAC products that would properly cool the entire building while putting the least amount of strain on the energy grid and the environment,” Miller said. “Calmac and Trane’s hybrid cooling system was selected, ultimately helping the Encinitas Civic Center to win this award.”

This is not the first award the project has won recognizing its commitment to energy efficiency. The California Center for Sustainable Energy gave the Civic Center the San Diego Excellence in Energy award because of the retrofit.

“Awards like the AEE and SANDEE help shine a greener light on energy retrofit projects, and I’m pleased that Calmac had a hand in the retrofit at the Encinitas Civic Center,” said Mark MacCracken, Calmac CEO. “This project helps to show what is possible for every town in every city, and the fact that it is winning awards is a tremendous honor.”