Georgia World Congress Center Applies Stimulus to New Lighting

The convention center received $2.3 million to replace about 1,500 lighting fixtures and upgrade controls.

The Georgia World Congress Center (GWCC), a state-owned facility, recently was awarded a $2.3 million grant for a major lighting retrofit and controls system upgrade through the State Retrofit Program.

Secured through the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) and its State Energy Program, the funding came from a U.S. Department of Energy grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. GWCC will use the funds for a major replacement of nearly 1,500 lighting fixtures in the convention center's 12 exhibit halls. The grant, managed by the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission (GSFIC), will be used to replace the current 1,000-watt metal halide lighting fixtures with 750-watt pulse start metal halide fixtures in the center's 1.4 million square feet of exhibit space. Lighting controls will be upgraded to enable individual fixture control.

The project is estimated to be complete in September 2011.

"We are constantly looking to reduce our energy consumption and costs and to be more sustainable in our day-to-day operations," said GWCC Assistant General Manager Patrick Skaggs. "We appreciate the assistance we've received from GEFA and GSFIC in securing and managing these federal funds, which will decrease our utility and labor costs in operating and maintaining the 1,500 fixtures that will be replaced."

Energy efficiency throughout the 3.9 million square foot facility, the fourth largest of its kind in the country, is a top priority. With an annual power bill of more than $4 million, and more than 20,000 light fixtures throughout the convention center, the potential savings from the new fixtures will make a tremendous impact. Each bulb will potentially result in up to 25 percent savings per usage and will last 20 percent longer than the bulbs currently in use.

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