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Denver International Airport’s Energy Performance Contract Kicks Off Construction


DENVER – October 11, 2022 – Denver International Airport (DEN) has embarked on the largest Energy Performance Contract (EPC) ever performed in the state of Colorado. Through this effort, DEN will implement various measures that will significantly reduce energy and water use throughout the airport while also reducing our carbon footprint.

“This initiative is the most impactful project ever undertaken to improve the airport’s sustainability, one of the guiding principles in our Vision 100 plan,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington. “The contract comes with guaranteed savings and system performance, pushing DEN forward in reaching our goal to become one of the most sustainable airports in the world.”

After completing a competitive request for proposal process, DEN selected McKinstry Essention, LLC as the contractor for implementation services. The contract began with a comprehensive investment grade audit performed on over 8 million square feet of DEN facilities. The implementation process is set to begin this month and will continue over a seven-year period, including three years of construction followed by a measurement & verification period.

“McKinstry is honored to partner with the Denver International Airport, the Colorado Energy Office and our local minority and women-owned business community to help DEN modernize airport infrastructure for the benefit of DEN’s travelers. This project makes big strides for DEN to achieve its energy, water and carbon reduction goals and McKinstry celebrates their bold initiative to lead the way in sustainability,” said McKinstry Vice President of Energy & Technical Services Leslie Larocque.

The audit initially identified over 60 possible sustainability opportunities across the airport that were reviewed and prioritized to seven high-value measures for implementation. The project includes lighting, water, and cooling tower sub-meter improvements, with the majority of the work focused on DEN’s Energy Management Controls System to improve energy efficiency and passenger comfort. Details on the scope of work include the following:


  • 38,100 LED lamp replacements, retrofits, and new fixtures


  • 932 toilet flush valve retrofits
  • 285 urinal flush valve retrofits
  • 715 flow restrictors on faucets
  • 61 low flow showerheads

Energy Management Controls System

  • Replace and optimize building controls systems in Concourse A, Concourse C, Airport Office Building, and Terminal

Cooling Tower Sub-meter

  • Reduces sewer charges by $130,000 annually

The outcome of the project will be measured and verified upon project completion, with a guarantee of 19.6% in energy savings, 28.3% in water reduction and 30,278 metric tons in annual CO2e reduction. Additionally, the project includes an 18% M/WBE goal that will put a minimum of $17 million back into the Denver M/WBE contracting community.

The EPC program is supported by the Colorado Energy Office (CEO). CEO assisted DEN in soliciting EPC services from a pre-qualified Energy Service Company through the CEO EPC program, with DEN ultimately partnering with McKinstry. To ensure that EPC projects are successful for all parties, the Colorado Energy Office provides a dedicated project consultant who assists through project coaching and technical assistance at no charge throughout the life cycle of the project. During project development, CEO provided DEN with third-party engineering review, energy savings validation and contracting assistance. CEO will continue to support DEN and McKinstry throughout project implementation and during the measurement and verification period.

“The Denver International Airport project is an important example of Colorado’s dedication to our energy and sustainability goals,” said CEO Executive Director Will Toor. “Not only does this project show Colorado locals and visitors that sustainability is at the top of our minds, but it also sets an example for other states, countries, and industries to think big and invest in large-scale projects that save money, improve air quality, and move us closer to a clean energy future. The Colorado Energy Office is excited to support this work.”

Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!

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