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NYPA, SUNY complete Build Smart NY energy efficiency projects

by jmaloni

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Tue, Dec 9th 2014 01:00 pm

University at Buffalo and SUNY Upstate Medical University projects to combine for $1.4 million in annual energy cost saving

The New York Power Authority announced it has completed comprehensive energy-efficiency projects at two State University of New York campuses - the University at Buffalo and Upstate Medical University - that will save a combined $1.4 million in annual energy costs for state taxpayers and remove more than 7,700 tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere every year.

The $27 million in upgrades were carried out under Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's Build Smart NY program, a comprehensive statewide initiative to increase energy efficiency in public buildings.

"The NYPA-SUNY energy-efficiency partnership has been extremely effective over the years in lowering energy bills at SUNY campuses throughout the state and in cutting carbon emissions," said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. "The initiatives in Buffalo and Syracuse continue to support the important goals of Build Smart NY to lower energy consumption and reduce costs for taxpayers."

"Through our continued partnership with Gov. Cuomo and NYPA, the Build Smart NY program has led to significant costs savings and increases in energy efficiency and environmental sustainability across SUNY," said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. "Congratulations to the University at Buffalo and SUNY Upstate for achieving these pioneering projects, which will further drive the success of our strategic planning goal to support an energy-smart New York."

The energy-saving improvements completed at the University at Buffalo include more than $20 million in heating, ventilation and air-conditioning upgrades and interior and exterior lighting enhancements. Construction on the improvements began in June 2012. For video footage of the multi-year energy-efficiency efforts at the school, click HERE.

The comprehensive array of energy-efficiency improvements at SUNY Upstate includes heating, ventilation and air-conditioning upgrades, interior and exterior lighting enhancements, boiler controls and hot water upgrades. In addition, the improvements feature a 50-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, which is part of the governor's NY-Sun initiative to scale up solar deployment across the state. Construction on the energy-efficiency project began in May 2012. For video footage of the multiyear energy efficiency efforts at the school, click HERE.

The projects at UB and SUNY Upstate were supported by National Grid, with funding that totaled nearly $900,000. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority also provided support in the amount of $69,000.

"We're very pleased to take part in what is clearly proving to be an effective public/private partnership that will provide immediate and long-term benefits," said Ken Daly, president, National Grid - New York. "National Grid has a large stable of energy-efficiency programs available for customers, including public entities, and partnering with NYSERDA, NYPA and SUNY enhances the opportunity to manage energy usage for these critical facilities."

"Through Gov. Cuomo's Build Smart NY program, NYSERDA, NYPA and SUNY have partnered on a number of projects to reduce the energy use in public buildings," said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO, NYSERDA. "Increased energy efficiency in buildings is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gases, and these Build Smart NY projects demonstrate the value of partnerships in improving energy efficiency, as New York state continues to build its clean energy economy."

The Power Authority oversees project implementation from an initial energy audit through completion, and provides up-front financing, recovering its costs by sharing in the savings on customers' energy bills.

NYPA is actively partnering with SUNY to improve energy efficiency at campuses throughout the state. It is currently moving forward with construction on projects at 289 facilities. Those energy-efficiency upgrades, when completed, will save taxpayers more than $4.6 million a year and remove more than 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere annually.

NYPA and SUNY also are coordinating on a project as part of EE-INC, a program under the Build Smart NY initiative to promote the use of commercial, but not yet widely deployed, energy-efficiency technologies in New York state buildings. The project involves the testing of four virtual audit software programs in 34 metered SUNY buildings on four campuses (Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Old Westbury) to assess the ability of the software to quantify where energy is used in each facility, as well as to predict or recommend areas where energy-efficiency improvements can be made. If successful, the innovative virtual audit software could be adopted at government facilities throughout the state.

EE-INC is a new link in the governor's chain of economic development initiatives designed to advance promising, innovative energy-efficiency technologies by installing them in publicly owned facilities under the Build Smart NY program - ultimately growing new businesses and jobs in New York.

Over the years, NYPA and SUNY have partnered to complete energy-efficiency and clean-energy projects at 285 facilities, saving taxpayers more than $16 million a year and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 92,000 tons annually.

The Build Smart NY initiative stems from the governor's issuance in 2012 of executive order 88, which calls for an increase in energy efficiency in state government buildings by 20 percent by 2020. The statewide initiative will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To date, New Yorkers have saved tens of millions of dollars in utility costs under Build Smart NY.

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