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Partnership between SUNY-ESF and N.Y. Power Authority Yields Cool, Energy-efficient Project

ESF utilizing state-of-the-art chillers

SYRACUSE—The successful installation and operation of two state-of-the-art chillers and other cooling improvements at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) were heralded Wednesday, September 6, 2006 as the result of a continuing partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA) to further advance clean and efficient energy technologies on the campus.

"-Cooperating with the Power Authority has brought many benefits to the college, allowing us to test, demonstrate and use the latest advances in energy-efficiency, and these chillers are some of the coolest we've undertaken—both for the cool air and cool savings," said Cornelius Murphy, Jr., president, SUNY ESF. "At SUNY ESF, we are committed to energy-efficiency and related technologies to save energy, lower utility costs and provide a more comfortable environment for learning."

Among the new technologies benefiting SUNY ESF is the first high-temperature carbonate fuel cell to be installed at a New York college. The 250-kilowatt generator, placed into service earlier this year, stems from SUNY ESF's partnership with NYPA, along with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and others. Producing electricity through a chemical process, the fuel cell gives off virtually no emissions in meeting about 17 percent of the campus's electricity requirements.

SUNY ESF is also benefiting from energy-efficient lighting installed by NYPA during the mid-1990s under the statewide utility's Energy Service Program.

"Governor Pataki's Executive Order 111 directs New York State facilities to reduce their energy use by 35 percent by the end of the decade, compared to 1990 levels, and the Power Authority has shown its readiness to support this effort, with the new SUNY ESF chillers the latest example," said Timothy S. Carey, NYPA president and chief executive officer. "We've invested about $1 billion for projects throughout the Empire State, lowering electric bills for public facilities, enhancing air quality and reducing dependence on foreign oil."

NYPA provided all aspects of project management for the $1.2 million chiller project, including planning, procurement and supervision of contractors. The low-cost financing for the project, which will be paid back by SUNY ESF, in part, from its annual energy savings of close to $60,000. Additional savings will accrue from the lower operating and maintenance costs associated with the high-efficiency cooling equipment. Together with the other clean and efficient energy technologies, the annual savings to SUNY ESF amount to $170,000. The measures also reduce annual oil consumption by 2,500 barrels a year.

NYPA undertook the chiller installations during the summer and fall of 2005, for the 2006 summer season. The new chillers, like the obsolete units they replaced are housed in two, SUNY ESF classroom and lab buildings—Illick Hall and Walters Hall.

At Illick Hall, a 140,870 square-foot building, a new energy-efficient 250-ton centrifugal chiller replaced the 260-ton absorption chiller, installed in 1966 when the building was constructed. Also, new chill water pumps, condenser water pumps and new variable speed drives for the pump motors were installed.

In Walters Hall, an 85,560 square-foot building, a new energy-efficient 90-ton twin screw compressor chiller replaced the 90-ton absorption chiller installed in 1969 when that building was constructed. New chill water pumps and new variable speed drives for the pump motors were also installed.

In addition to the new chillers and pumps, the Power Authority upgraded the two buildings' energy management systems to optimize the efficiency of the chillers.

NYPA has completed nearly 1,500 clean energy and energy-efficiency projects at public facilities statewide. These projects have generated annual utility bill savings of more than $93 million and lowered peak electricity use by the equivalent of 156,000 homes. These initiatives have also reduced annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 735,000 tons and dependence on foreign oil by more than 1.7 million barrels a year.

Release No. 7, September 6, 2006