N.Y. Power Authority Partners With the College at Brockport to Complete Latest Phase of Energy Efficiency Upgrades

Latest Upgrades are in Support of Governor Cuomo’s Build Smart NY and NY-SUN Initiatives, Bringing the Energy Efficiency Upgrades Completed Over the Last Two Years at the College to Nearly $12 Million

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Paul DeMichele, NYPA

David Mihalyov, Brockport

April 1, 2014


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BROCKPORT - The New York Power Authority (NYPA) has completed the latest phase of comprehensive energy efficiency improvements at the College at Brockport, State University of New York (SUNY) that will save the school more than $300,000 in energy costs annually and remove nearly 1,300 tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year.

The latest upgrades, which were marked by an event Tuesday at the college, are part of nearly $12 million in energy efficiency improvements that the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the college have completed over the last two years, accounting for a total annual savings in energy bills of nearly $1 million. (NYPA and Brockport have teamed on energy efficiency improvements over two and a half decades, investing more than $32 million on initiatives that are resulting in a total annual savings of nearly $2 million.)

The most recent upgrades were carried out under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Build Smart NY program, a comprehensive statewide initiative to increase energy efficiency in public buildings.

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and chief executive officer, R. Wayne LeChase, NYPA trustee, John R. Halstead, PhD, president of Brockport, and Dennis Elsenbeck, National Grid regional executive for Western New York, joined together with other officials to highlight the completion of the comprehensive energy efficiency project.

“SUNY has been a longtime, valued partner of the Power Authority and together we have made great progress in lowering the electricity costs for state college buildings such as those at the Brockport campus,” said Quiniones. “Under the Governor’s Build Smart NY initiative, the Power Authority has plans to finance and carry out hundreds of millions of dollars in energy efficiency projects every year.” 

“As a Western New Yorker, I’m always excited to see the Power Authority complete impactful energy-saving projects in the region,” said LeChase. “The College at Brockport is representative of the importance that we’re giving to energy efficiency improvements and the good news is that we’re in the preliminary stages of undertaking additional energy-saving upgrades on this campus.”

“We’re working to make sustainability—both environmental and fiscal—part of our culture,” said Dr. Halstead. “The College at Brockport is grateful for support from Governor Cuomo’s Build Smart NY program and the New York Power Authority to upgrade and improve our energy efficiency, which allows Brockport to do right by our campus and make a positive difference in our world.”

The latest phase of improvements includes $5.1 million in ventilation and air-conditioning system upgrades, electric motor and boiler replacements, interior and exterior lighting upgrades designed to conserve as much energy as possible and smart electric sub-metering of all campus buildings.

National Grid provided the college with a more than $115,000 grant for several of the upgrades installed as part of the project and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E) gave gas rebates of $9,000 for the two natural gas boilers installed at the college’s McFarlane Hall.

“The success of the public-private partnership at SUNY Brockport will serve as a template for other projects under Governor Cuomo's Build Smart NY initiative,” said Kenneth Daly, president, National Grid-New York. “National Grid has a long, successful track record in helping our customers achieve environmental and financial benefits through energy efficiency, and we're excited to be a part of this project.”

“As part of its ongoing commitment to help customers improve their overall energy efficiency, protect the environment and lower energy costs, RG&E was pleased to provide SUNY Brockport with prescriptive gas rebates in support of this impactful energy efficiency project,” Mark S. Lynch, president and CEO of NYSEG and RG&E.

In addition, the improvements feature a 50-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, which is part of the Governor’s NY-Sun initiative to scale up solar deployment across the state. The solar array was supported by a $57,500 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and a $100,000 grant from the Power Authority.

“This project highlights how energy efficiency and renewable energy measures installed through Governor Cuomo’s NY-Sun and Build Smart NY initiatives can assist large energy consumers in decreasing their operating costs as they embrace environmental stewardship,” said John B. Rhodes, president and CEO, NYSERDA. “We commend SUNY Brockport for setting an example that other state colleges and universities can follow to reduce the state’s carbon footprint.”

The project includes more than $1.9 million in capital costs that the College at Brockport would have had to undertake to replace the aging equipment with or without the NYPA improvements.

When you factor in the $281,500 in rebates and grants from NYPA, NYSERDA, National Grid and RG&E, the payback for the university is less than 10 years, after which the school will pocket the full $307,000 in recurring savings every year.

“This solar project represents a strong partnership between SUNY Brockport, the Power Authority, and state government to implement the latest renewable energy technologies and reduce long-term energy costs,” said Senator George Maziarz. “I will be glad to work with the Governor and all our partners to continue advancing the state’s energy and economic goals.”

“This energy efficiency project under the Build Smart NY initiative and the efforts still to come will bring many benefits to the college and its students, including lower energy bills helping control the costs of higher education,” said Assemblyman Stephen Hawley. “It is another example of how the state’s clean-energy sector can stimulate economic development, help buildings reduce energy use and showcase new technologies.”

The additional energy efficiency work that NYPA is spearheading at Brockport will commence in 2015, with plans still being finalized for the multi-million dollar initiative. The Power Authority is also partnering with the school on an energy master plan that will include energy audits on 54 campus facilities to identify additional energy-saving measures.

The Power Authority utilized PRES Energy, a Buffalo-area firm, to complete the energy efficiency project, which called for a variety of skilled professionals that included engineers, construction managers and various craft workers.

NYPA oversees the implementation of energy-efficiency projects from an initial energy audit through completion and provides upfront financing, recovering its costs by sharing in the savings on customers’ energy bills.

NYPA is actively partnering with SUNY to improve energy efficiency at campuses throughout the state and is currently moving forward with construction on 17 projects at 254 facilities. Those energy efficiency upgrades, when completed, will save taxpayers more than $3.1 million a year and remove nearly 16,000 tons of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere annually.

The Governor’s Build Smart NY initiative stems from his issuance in 2012 of Executive Order 88, which calls for an increase in energy efficiency in state government buildings by 20 percent by 2020. The statewide initiative will save millions of dollars for taxpayers and create thousands of jobs while significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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 has been designated as the lead entity via Executive Order 88 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to form a central management and implementation plan to carry out his Build Smart NY plan to reduce energy use by state facilities by 20 percent by 2020.■ NYPA is the nation's largest state public power organization, through the operation of its 16 generating facilities in various parts of New York State, participation in a unique public/private partnership to contract for power from a clean generating plant in Queens, and its operation of more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. ■ More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA 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 visit or follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Wordpress, and LinkedIn.