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State to Reward University Energy Efficiency Efforts


By Ryan Berlin Energy Efficiency
3d illustration of energy ranking over white background with city and leaf

Energy efficiency remains a high priority for local and state governments, as well as commercial and institutional facilities and in particular, colleges and universities.

For example, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that his state will award nearly $1 million each to the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Suffolk County Community College as part of the Energy to Lead Competition, according to Solar Industry. The competition challenges New York colleges and universities to develop plans for local clean energy projects on campus and in their communities as the state seeks solutions to combat climate change.

The University of Rochester will install a combination solar photovoltaic and energy storage system that will feed into an existing university microgrid, offsetting the energy requirements of an upcoming high-efficiency academic building. The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 91 metric tons of greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions annually.

RIT will create a platform that integrates multiple data sources to enable its building automation system to manage operation schedules, adjust ventilation rates in classrooms and respond to peak-demand days. Once tested and deployed at RIT, the platform will be tested at Monroe Community College’s downtown campus and made publicly available free for other institutions to leverage. The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 108 metric tons of GHG emissions annually.

Suffolk County Community College will implement net-zero energy components during construction of its Renewable Energy & Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Center, including ground-source heat pumps and solar. The project will focus on reducing building thermal loads and serve as a replicable approach to energy conservation, efficiency and renewable energy. The project is expected to result in the avoidance of 227 metric tons of GHG emissions annually.

This Quick Read was submitted by Ryan Berlin, managing editor of Facility Maintenance Decisions.

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