August 11, 2015 – Tampa Bay Trane’s Vice President, Robert Garcia, along with seven (7) Pinellas County Commissioners, a County Administrator and the Mayor of Clearwater, cut the red ribbon and officially opened the new Pinellas County Central Energy Plant (CEP), located in Clearwater, FL to the public.
Over the course of 4 ½ years, Pinellas County and a team composed of Tampa Bay Trane, Engineering Matrix and Ajax Building Corporation, conceptualized, designed and built the plant with the intent to replace the equipment within seven (7) county buildings that were obsolete, inefficient and very difficult to replace. The plant was designed to be expanded at any time without any disruption to the end user, which Garcia says is very important. The extensive underground chilled water supply and return piping system currently provides chilled water for air conditioning to five County Buildings and the nearby privately-owned Oaks high-rise apartments.
A County Commissioner spoke at the dedication, stating that this new plant will be able to provide air conditioning without any needed equipment replacements for the next 30 years. Later on, Garcia speaks on the underground piping, stating that the pipes have a life expectancy of 50 years which will save the city from having to rip up the streets for a replacement. This new District Cooling System has significant expansion capacity, is likely to stimulate growth in the area and will eventually serve many other Counties, the City of Clearwater and privately owned buildings.
Following the ribbon cutting, reporters and guests were welcomed into the Central Energy Plant where they picked up a CEP facts flyer and toured the facility. Tampa Bay Trane engineers stood by the featured equipment which included Trane Centravac Chillers, Marley Cooling Towers, Calmac Ice Tanks and the Trane Tracer Summit to explain what they do and how they work together to keep the plant running.
The Pinellas County Central Energy Plant also won the Eagle Award for Excellence in Construction by the Associated Builders and Contractors Florida Gulf Coast Chapter.
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