Three familiar buildings are being demolished at the Springfield Avenue Pumping Station this week, as electricity replaces steam power in the City’s water distribution system. In a network of 12 pumping stations, Springfield Station is one of four being switched over from steam turbines and boilers to electric motors. The move will reduce the station’s carbon footprint, create approximately 200 jobs over the next three years, and save more than $7.5 million each year in energy and operating costs.
The Springfield project is part of “Building a New Chicago”, a comprehensive $7.3 billion infrastructure renewal program put forward by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
“No area of our infrastructure is more crucial for Chicago’s long-term health and economic competitiveness than our water system,” said Mayor Emanuel. “These crucial infrastructure upgrades must be made and will allow the City to save money while providing essential services more efficiently.”
The pumping station is located at 1725. N. Springfield Avenue. Several buildings will be demolished this week including the old garage, the shop building, and a former chlorine building, dating back to the days before the Jardine Water Purification Plant was built. The towering smoke stack will also come down as part of the overall renovation plan.
The transformation at Springfield Pumping Station will reduce carbon emissions by 17,380 tons each year, based on current water pumping rates. This is the equivalent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 2,888 automobiles, according to the USEPA.
A new LEED-certified electrical building will house variable-speed drive equipment, switch gear, and other facilities. The new building will include a green roof system for improved storm water management. Solar collection panels will also share space on the roof.
Electricity will come from two separate ComEd sub-stations, to ensure redundancy and reliability. The Springfield project represents a $64.6M investment, and is expected to be completed in July 2015.