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Energy Efficiency Project at Rome Water Filtration Plant Synonymous with 'Green' Energy Practices

Michael Saltzman

May 8, 2008


WHITE PLAINS—An energy-efficiency project at the City of Rome Water Filtration Plant, resulting from a partnership of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the city, exemplifies innovative “green” energy practices to protect the environment.

“A new heating system has enhanced the water filtration plant’s energy efficiency, while lowering carbon emissions by 71 tons a year from reduced electricity demand,” Roger B. Kelley, NYPA president and chief executive officer, said. “Investment in energy efficiency technologies is a top priority of Governor Paterson for combating greenhouse gases, managing energy supplies and lowering electricity bills. The upgrade at the Rome filtration plant typifies the statewide initiatives by the Power Authority that have reduced greenhouse gases by hundreds of thousands of tons a year and lowered annual electric bills by more than $100 million.”

Kelley noted that the installation of a radiant heating system has made the one-story facility more comfortable for employees during the winter by providing more uniform temperatures. The gas furnace and air distribution equipment that the new system replaced experienced heat losses, with inadequate temperatures for employees at floor level from accumulation of hot air by the ceiling area.

Radiant systems operate by warming people and objects, rather than directly heating the air, as with conventional systems.

“We’re grateful for the Power Authority’s efforts in managing the heating-efficiency upgrade project at our filtration plant,” Rome Mayor Jim Brown said. “One of the aims most important to us was that the work be completed by this past winter. Another was that it not disrupt the functioning of the filtration plant, which must operate 24/7. The Power Authority achieved both goals.” 

The filtration plant processes between nine and 16 million gallons of water per day and has the capability of producing 25 million gallons daily.

The $235,000 upgrade project, which included new heat pumps, began last summer and was completed in the fall. In addition to overseeing the improvements, NYPA provided approximately $160,000 in financing, with the remaining $75,000 cost of the project paid for from grant money the Power Authority administers for New York State. The Petroleum Overcharge Restitution funds are the proceeds of court settlements related to oil company violations of federal price controls in the 1970s and 1980s.

NYPA will recover its financing costs over a 10-year period, after which the filtration plant will keep the annual savings, which amount to more than $11,000 a year.

Last year, NYPA set a record for its statewide investment in energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives, of $124 million, breaking the previous mark of $118 million set in 2006. The improvements range from new fluorescent lighting that uses two-thirds less energy than conventional lighting, to new boilers and chillers to hybrid-electric vehicles.

Since the late 1980s, the Power Authority has invested more than $1 billion in such wide-ranging initiatives at about 2,700 public facilities across the state. It plans to invest $1.4 billion over the next eight years in support of New York State’s goal of reducing energy use by 15 percent from forecasted levels by 2015.

 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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