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NYPA Leads with Energy-Saving and ‘Green’ Initiatives at Its Facilities and Offices

Michael Saltzman

February 27, 2007


WHITE PLAINS—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is planning new investments in the energy efficiency of its hydroelectric facilities and others, underscoring the continuing attention the statewide public power utility is giving to energy-saving measures for not only electricity customers but its own operations around the state.

“We think energy efficiency is a good practice for everyone, including those organizations like us that generate the electrons,” said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. “This is not only to lower electric bills but to manage finite energy supplies such as the clean hydroelectric output of our Niagara and St. Lawrence-Franklin D. Roosevelt Power Projects. Our job as a state-owned public power organization is to lead by example, and that’s what we’re doing for energy efficiency, along with expanding ‘green’ sustainability practices to protect the environment and conserve vital resources.”

YPA’s overall efforts in these areas are consistent with a 2001 Executive Order, continued by Gov. Eliot Spitzer, to encourage energy efficiency and green-building practices at state agencies and other affected entities.

On Tuesday, the NYPA trustees authorized capital expenditures of $2.5 million for the NYPA Energy Efficiency Facilities Program. This will provide funding for energy-efficiency and environmental-sustainability initiatives at the St. Lawrence-FDR Visitors Center, the administration building of the Authority’s Charles Poletti Power Project in Queens, and the Frederick R. Clark Energy Center in Marcy, near Utica, which directs and monitors the Authority’s statewide generating and transmission operations. Preliminary audits scoping out the work are planned for 2007 and 2008.

The new funding is in addition to $8.5 million previously approved for the facilities program, which has resulted in energy-use improvements at Niagara and St. Lawrence-FDR, in Lewiston and Massena, respectively; the Blenheim-Gilboa Pumped Storage Project in the northern Catskills, the Authority’s other large hydroelectric project; and the dual-fueled Poletti project.

More than $2 million of the previously authorized funding is for an ongoing upgrade of the heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) system at the Niagara project. That initiative, which includes variable-speed drives to optimize the operation of both fan and pump motors, is expected to save nearly $212,000 a year in electricity costs.

The facilities program has also included energy efficiency and sustainability initiatives at NYPA’s Clarence D. Rappleyea office building in White Plains. Last month, the U.S. Green Building Council designated the Rappleyea building the first facility in New York State with Gold ranking in the council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program for Existing Buildings.

The $3-1/2 million upgrade cut the 17-story building’s energy use by half, compared to 1990 levels, and included new chillers, lighting, reflective window film, occupancy sensors, and various other energy-saving measures that together have resulted in annual savings of nearly half a million dollars. Those measures established the foundation for the LEED-related sustainability measures that earned the 450,000-square-foot building the Gold status.

Environmental sustainability refers to efforts to reduce use of physical resources, expanded recycling of materials such as paper, bottles and cans, and to the overall use of renewable rather than depletable resources. It also includes use of non-hazardous paints with low volatile organic compounds and green cleaning products.

NYPA expects to help customers incorporate sustainability practices for their own operations, to go along the more than $1 billion it has invested over nearly two decades in energy-efficiency and clean-energy initiatives at more than 2,400 public facilities statewide. The initiatives have reduced climate-changing greenhouse-gas emissions by 750,000 tons a year, along with providing annual savings to those facilities—schools, hospitals, municipal buildings and others—of nearly $100 million, and displacing nearly 2 million barrels of oil a year.

About NYPA:

 ■    NYPA 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-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.

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