Kelley Whalen

Track B: Success Stories
Fri/AM 9:30 AM - 10:00 AM
Facilities Supervisor - Energy Management
United States
ADTRAN - Energy Management Success Story

I have served as the Energy Manager at ADTRAN for the past 16 years, starting in 2005 as the first energy manager at ADTRAN, a 1M ft2 campus that has a myriad of uses, from office space, to distribution center, to laboratories. We developed an energy management program from scratch designed to reduce power consumption along with operating and maintenance expenditures by implementation of various ECMs. The energy management strategy developed focuses around 4 key primary tenets: 1) reduce operating expenses and promote sustainability, 2) continuously improve energy efficiency, 3) leverage end-of-useful-life-cycle and technology obsolescence 4) continuously improve energy efficiency.

To achieve these goals, ADTRAN started with benchmarking the 3-building campus by calculating the EUI which allowed us to measure and monitor campus energy performance over time, compare building performance to similar buildings, and prioritize energy related CAPEX projects. In order to assist with this, we implemented a metering program so that we could have a comprehensive understanding of energy performance.
ADTRAN then had energy audits performed of the campus internally and from 3rd parties to develop an extensive list of energy conservation projects which we then prioritized into categories based off factors such as cost, simple payback, equipment lifetime, and visibility. This allowed ADTRAN to schedule what projects we would implement with a greater long-term focus. This step is critical in getting the best results within the confines of a budget.

Some of the projects ADTRAN has implemented include water side economizer operation for his chilled water plants, demand control ventilation, retro-commissioning, LED lighting retrofit, and many more. In total, ADTRAN implemented over 100 ECMs.

As part of this program, ADTRAN also made energy awareness a key part of the program, educating employees through events, newsletters and dashboards to implant an energy conservation emphasis in the employees.
In 2005, at the start of the program, ADTRAN had an EUI of 134 and was consuming over 40,000,000 kWh/year. With the implementation of this energy strategy, ADTRAN has reduced the EUI by 44% to a value of 75 as of 2021 and now consumes 22,000,000 kWh/year. This equates to over $1,4M in savings for ADTRAN.

I have over 30 years of combined energy management, controls and HVAC experience as an Air Force HVAC technician, HVAC contractor, and 16 years with ADTRAN.

While at ADTRAN, I have worked in multiple roles. Currently, I am supervising the Energy Management, HVAC, and Electrical Departments. I also manage and maintain the Building Automation Systems, Energy Management software, and Critical Equipment Monitoring dashboards. I serve as the primary lead of energy saving and sustainability initiatives in the Facilities Department. I have coordinated energy saving projects with the TVA Energy Right Solutions Incentives program and worked closely with Huntsville Utilities on strategies to reduce electrical load campus wide. Since 2005, I have managed ADTRAN’s energy management program. We have achieved a 44% decrease in Energy Utilization Index (EUI), some of this was accomplished during company growth.

Recipient of the ASHRAE 2019 Region VII Regional Technology Award for the Commercial Building, Existing category for the ADTRAN East Tower Chiller Plant Optimization project and selected as an Honorable Mention winner of an ASHRAE Technology Award in the Commercial Buildings – EBCx Category at the Society level. Published in the ASHRAE Journal September 2020 issue, for Chiller Plant Optimization project. 2021 Association of Energy Engineers Region II Energy Manager of the Year.

I enlisted in the Air Force, January 1990. I graduated with the highest honor (Honor Graduate) from both basic training and advance technical training. I later earned my Associate Degree in Applied Science, Mechanical and Electrical Technology from the Community College of the Air Force in June 1996. Through the Association of Energy Engineers, I earned the Energy Efficient Practitioner (EEP) designation in July 2016.

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