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NYSERDA announces $1.4 million in energy efficiency funding for Erie County Medical Center Corp.

by jmaloni

Press release

Mon, Feb 25th 2013 03:50 pm

Projects are expected to cut electricity costs by $680,000 annually

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced Monday that the Erie County Medical Center Corp. was awarded $1.4 million to support two energy efficiency projects that are projected to cut electricity costs by roughly $680,000 annually.

The first project is for upgrades to the central cooling plant at the medical center, including chiller and cooling tower replacements. Total investment is approximately $6 million. NYSERDA is providing almost $1.2 million for the upgrades as well as cost-sharing for a feasibility study conducted by M/E Engineering P.C., which helped the medical center optimize its energy-efficiency investments. This project is estimated to save the medical center more than 5 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power more than 720 average-sized homes for a year.

The second project includes measures to save energy at ECMC Corp.'s Terrace View long-term care facility, a 300,000-square-foot, five-story building that opened this month. The facility is on the 65-acre ECMC Health Campus in Buffalo and includes patient rooms, eating and leisure areas, and professional and administrative areas. The NYSERDA incentive is $220,000. The measures incorporated into the new building will help reduce energy costs by more than $250,000 annually and decrease electricity consumption by more than 1.5 million kilowatt hours, enough to power more than 200 homes a year.

"These projects demonstrate that the energy efficiency programs available through NYSERDA allow hospitals to put more money into patient care as they reduce their energy costs," said Francis J. Murray Jr., president and CEO of NYSERDA. "Under Gov. Cuomo's leadership, the state's support for the Erie County Medical Center Corp. projects is part of a larger effort to improve the efficiency and profitability of this critical economic sector in New York state."

"ECMC is very fortunate to have partnered with NYSERDA in the endeavor to improve our chilled water plant," stated Kevin M. Madoo, P.E., supervisor of design, ECMC Corp. "NYSERDA's assistance allowed us to install state-of-the-art, low-energy-consuming equipment while implementing cost-effective energy conservation strategies for controlling that equipment. This project not only augments the capacity and quality of our chilled water operations, but also allows for exceptionally efficient operations that ultimately will save energy and utility costs. We look forward to working with NYSERDA again on future projects here for ECMC."

Kenneth J. Swan, manager of commissioning and LEED services at M/E Engineering P.C., said, "NYSERDA's support for these projects allows ECMC Corp. to install equipment that is purchased initially at a premium cost compared to conventional equipment, but will generate significant operational and maintenance savings for years to come."

The central cooling plant upgrades provide a state-of-the-art chiller plant that not only serves the existing medical center, but also the new construction at the campus. The chilled water distribution system upgrades will optimize the operation of the plant, according to Swan, varying the flow of chilled water being pumped based on seasonal temperature, humidity conditions and internal building loads.

Key energy conservation measures incorporated into the Terrace View long-term care facility include energy-efficient lighting systems, a variable air-volume kitchen exhaust system, high-efficiency valance heating and cooling systems, premium efficiency motors and variable frequency drives on circulating pumps and fans, and demand-controlled ventilation for densely occupied areas. NYSERDA also provided incentives for ENERGY STAR-rated refrigeration and kitchen equipment, including ranges, steamers and ovens.

Funding for the central cooling plant upgrade and Terrace View long-term care facility energy-efficiency projects is from NYSERDA's FlexTech, Existing Facilities and New Construction programs.

FlexTech provides objective and customized information to help businesses operating in New York state make intelligent energy decisions. A dedicated team of engineers, technology experts and energy consultants works with customers and their consultant teams to create a customized assessment that identifies specific opportunities for reducing energy consumption and costs.

The Existing Facilities Program offers a portfolio of incentive opportunities to offset the costs of energy improvements in existing commercial and institutional facilities across New York. It works with customers to implement a comprehensive strategy to realize verified energy savings through an integrated approach to cost-effective energy efficiency measures.

The New Construction Program provides technical support to design teams and financial incentives to building owners involved in the construction of new or substantially renovated structures in New York. It is a first-come, first-served program available to commercial, institutional and industrial sector customers of certain utilities. New Construction Program incentives are paid out upon project completion. The intent of the program is not only to improve energy efficiency and green building practices, but to effect a permanent transformation in the way buildings are designed and constructed throughout the state.

Since taking office in January 2011, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has targeted the revitalization of the Buffalo and Western New York economy as a top priority that will contribute to the overall strength and vitality of New York.

His commitment to Buffalo and Western New York is evidenced in his unprecedented $1 billion pledge to reinvigorate the city's and region's economy, leverage additional private sector investment and create a sustainable economy today and for generations to come. Additionally, the governor's creation of the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils resulted in the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council's successful submissions in 2011 and 2012 that will bring $153.1 million in state funding to key development projects. Projects will focus on eight industry sectors that are essential to Buffalo's future growth and development: health and life sciences, advanced manufacturing, energy, higher education, professional services, agriculture, binational logistics and tourism.

The ECMC Corp. includes an advanced academic medical center (ECMC) with 550 inpatient beds and 136 skilled-nursing-home beds, on- and off-campus health centers, more than 30 outpatient specialty care services and a long-term care facility. ECMC is the regional center for trauma, burn care, transplantation and rehabilitation, and is a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. Most ECMC physicians, dentists and pharmacists are dedicated faculty members of the university and/or members of a private practice plan.

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