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UPDATE: RELAC Transfer Almost Complete

Commonwealth tells new ownership group a few conditions for takeover of Lake Anne cooling system.

The purchase of the Lake Anne-area's RELAC cooling system  is nearly complete pending a few conditions from the Virginia State Corporation Commission.

The SCC on April 30 approved the transfer of ownership with a few financial and legal specifics (see PDF attached to this story).

Reston RELAC, a group comprised of local businessmen Michael Coleman, Craig Nyman and Mark Waddell, filed a proposal with the Virginia SCC in October.

They are seeking to purchase the operation back from Aqua Virginia, which has run the system for nearly 10 years. The purchase price has not been disclosed.

Waddell said in March the petitioners have gone through three sets of interrogative questions from the SCC.  

The SCC staff then filed a Staff Report approving the transfer, but the staff was concerned that Reston RELAC did not have the same financial backing as Aqua Virginia. One of the conditions for the transfer is Aqua Virginia must provide Reston RELAC with a $150,000 line of credit.

RELAC - or Reston Lake Anne Air Conditioning Corporation - has been the cooling system for about 300 Lake Anne-area homes since the mid-1960s. The system is powered by recirculated lake water from Lake Anne. Touted as state-of-the-art when it was built, nearly 50 years later it is oft-criticized by users for being inefficient.

Reston RELAC says in the filing it is seeking to take back RELAC because "the services provided to Reston Lake Anne customers are not part of Aqua Virginia's core business of supplying drinking water and wastewater services."

"Certain functions and knowledge required to facilitate Reston Lake Anne's operations and customer service needs are unique and do not easily fit within Aqua Virginia's support functions," the group says. "The specialized knowledge required to service the Reston Lake Anne's customers is better served by a company located wholly within the Reston Lake Anne footprint in Reston Virginia."

Reston RELAC says its goals are to:

*  Maintain the viability and existence of Reston Lake Anne to continue to operate as an air-conditioning company and benefit the folks of Reston for years to come.

*  Continue the operations of a truly unique system that supports the foundation of the Reston community and intended to provide a centralized air conditioning service to the citizens located around Lake Anne with very little noise pollution.

* Develop one of Reston's original environmentally friendly systems and move it forward with modem technology.

The group says it will install cooling towers by Spring 2014 to boost the system during the hottest part of the year. Aqua Virginia has talked about installing cooling towers since 2005, but the plans never came to fruition.

Reston RELAC said in its filing it hoped to keep annual customer costs the same at about $1,000.

 

 

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Linda L. Holloway May 09, 2013 at 11:18 AM
When does air conditioning begin & when will the first payment be due?
Linda L. Holloway May 09, 2013 at 11:20 AM
Our air conditioning has always been very efficient, and we want to remain on this centralized, environmentally friendly system.
Private Person August 20, 2013 at 08:32 PM
If it's so efficient, why do you have to inquire here when it begins? It's often hot here in April--do you have air conditioning then? And $1000 a year? Just for air conditioning? We pay Dominion about $1200 a year for our all-electric house (heating, hot water, air conditioning. cooking, laundry and all interior and exterior lighting). Oh, and we can have air conditioning in December if we want it -- all it takes is a click on one of our iPhones to turn it on or switch from heating to air conditioning any day of the year. It boggles the mind to think that noise is an issue. For one, most people are inside when the air conditioning is operating, and, for another, modern HVAC units, which switch on and off, are extremely quiet -- certainly more so than than the high-pitched whine constantly emanating from the RELAC building all summer long.

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