NYPA Completes Major Energy Efficiency Project at the University at Buffalo (Photo and Caption included)
Annual Savings to UB of more than $630,000 on Utility Bills

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Paul DeMichele
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February 21, 2012


Photo and Caption

BUFFALO—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has completed a new round of major energy efficiency upgrades at the University at Buffalo (UB) that will save the State University of New York (SUNY) more than $630,000 a year. The improvements are also expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 3,600 tons annually from reduced electricity demand.

The newly completed $12.9 million project, which began in mid-2010, encompasses UB’s North, South and Downtown Campuses in Amherst and Buffalo, and is the latest energy-efficiency initiative that NYPA has partnered on with the public research university since 2004. The latest improvements include ventilation and air-conditioning system upgrades, along with lighting retrofits designed to conserve as much energy as possible. This includes new and improved field lighting at UB Stadium.

NYPA and UB will be embarking on another major energy efficiency endeavor in July—a $19.3 million project that will provide more than $770,000 a year in savings to the university, removing almost 5,000 tons of global-warming carbon dioxide gas from the atmosphere annually.

“Over the last two decades, the Power Authority has financed nearly $100 million toward energy efficiency upgrades at public facilities in the Buffalo-Niagara region and other parts of Western New York,” said D. Patrick Curley, a NYPA trustee and Orchard Park resident. “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we have a number of additional energy-saving projects in the pipeline for 2012 and beyond in our partnering with New York State and local governments to help them manage their budgets by improving their energy efficiency and reducing the burden on taxpayers. The upgrades at UB are a prominent example.”

“The continuing energy efficiency upgrades at the University at Buffalo are consistent with the emphasis Governor Cuomo is giving to energy efficiency improvements at facilities around New York State, with the investments repaid from the energy savings,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “Energy efficiency upgrades are absolutely imperative as we move New York closer to a clean energy economy. The Power Authority is committed to advancing the Governor’s energy agenda, to reduce energy costs and create skilled jobs and economic growth from investment in labor-intensive energy-saving technologies.”

“UB’s partnership with NYPA has enabled the university to take significant steps forward in implementing our dynamic UB Climate Action Plan, which charts the university’s path towards obtaining climate neutrality,” said Ryan McPherson, chief sustainability officer at UB. “These energy upgrades and other ongoing projects with NYPA demonstrate how the Power Authority, university and the state are finding key ways to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, increase efficiency, save critical taxpayer resources and reduce our overall footprint on the future to create a more sustainable UB.”

“The NYPA projects help the University meet a twofold objective,” said Joe Desotelle, manager of engineering support, UB. “We are able to save a substantial amount of energy and, at the same time, upgrade our aging infrastructure.”

Over the last two decades, NYPA has completed 78 energy efficiency projects at more than 203 SUNY facilities statewide, saving taxpayers approximately $14 million a year and displacing more than 81,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The improvements also have reduced peak electricity use by more than 22,400 kilowatts, contributing to the reliability of the electric power grid.

The pending $19.3 million energy-saving project that NYPA will be spearheading at UB this summer—in addition to providing further upgrades to ventilation and air-conditioning systems and lighting retrofit installations—will also focus on expanding the chilled-water loop on the South Campus, a system designed to cool water, which can then be utilized to efficiently lower air-conditioning costs during warmer months. It is expected that the project will be completed by the end of 2014.

NYPA typically recovers its costs by sharing in the savings in energy bills that result from the energy-efficiency and clean-energy initiatives that it partners on with public facilities throughout the state. Once the costs are fully recovered, the program participants retain all the savings.

“Taxpayer dollars should be stretched as far as possible and the completion of energy efficiency upgrades at the University at Buffalo campus does just that, saving more than $630,000 each year,” said Senator Michael Ranzenhofer. “I commend the University at Buffalo for its leadership in first-rate technologies to conserve energy.”

“As Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Committee in the Senate and resident of Western New York, I applaud the energy efficiency work being undertaken by the New York Power Authority at the many campuses of the University at Buffalo,” said Senator Mark Grisanti (R-60th District). “The major round of upgrades just completed will not only save the State University of New York more than $630,000 a year, but will also decrease the amount of pollutants in the air by more than 3,600 tons per year. This is good news for the economical and physical health of the taxpayers, students, faculty and the community at large.”

“New York State is working hard to rebuild our economy through clean energy development and energy-efficiency improvements,” said Senator Tim Kennedy (D-58th District). “The partnership fostered between NYPA and SUNY—specifically the University at Buffalo—is leading to a more efficient university system, a reduction in energy costs and job creation for the New Yorkers who are put to work completing these projects. I applaud this effort and Governor Cuomo’s commitment to helping us build a more energy-efficient New York.”

“I commend NYPA on their effort to make SUNY Buffalo more energy efficient to lower costs and ensure a cleaner environment,” said Assemblyman John Ceretto (R, I-Lewiston). “By utilizing our region’s natural resources we are helping to lower the cost of obtaining a college degree while ensuring a greener environment for generations to come.”

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger (D-C-I-Kenmore) said, “I applaud this partnership between NYPA and the University at Buffalo. The energy efficient upgrades at UB will have widespread positive effects on the region—not only because of its cost-saving benefits, but also by dramatically cutting down on the greenhouse gas emissions. I am glad to see that there will be even more upgrades later this summer.”

The lead NYPA staff person for the energy efficiency work at SUNY Buffalo is Joseph Crimi, conservation program engineer.

NYPA is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility and uses no taxpayer dollars or state debt in its operations. It owns and operates 17 generating facilities across New York and more than 1,400 circuit miles of transmission lines. NYPA is a national leader in advancing energy efficiency, clean energy technologies and electric vehicles.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

About NYPA:

■The New York Power Authority uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. ■NYPA is a leader in promoting energy efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.■It is the nation's largest state public power organization, with 17 generating facilities in various parts of New York State and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■Approximately 80 percent of the electricity it produces is clean renewable hydropower. Its lower-cost power production and electricity purchases support hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout the state.■For more information,

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