NYPA To Cut Energy Use In Half At Its White Plains Offices: Initiatives address Governor’s energy-saving goal

Connie Cullen

March 13, 2002


WHITE PLAINS—Louis P. Ciminelli, acting chairman of the New York Power Authority (NYPA), today announced a $3.5 million program to install energy efficiency improvements in its White Plains offices, The Clarence D. Rappleyea Building at 123 Main Street.

NYPA’s energy-saving initiatives will cut the building’s energy use by more than 50 percent and are being implemented as part of Governor George E. Pataki’s goal of reducing state building energy use. In June 2001, Governor Pataki issued Executive Order No. 111, which includes the requirement all state buildings to reduce energy use by 35 percent by 2010 relative to 1990 levels.

"The energy efficiency improvements undertaken by the Power Authority at our largest office facility will serve as a showcase for economic and environmental benefits of energy-savings," said Ciminelli.

"Under Governor Pataki’s leadership, the Power Authority has more than doubled its annual investment in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies. NYPA now provides more than $100 million annually to help schools, local governments and state agencies save energy. The 1,000-plus projects NYPA has completed across the state are producing $74 million annually in reduced energy bills and taxpayer savings," Ciminelli added.

"White Plains is pleased to have the Power Authority highlighting energy efficiency building practices in our downtown. We’ve been working closely with the Power Authority to meet Governor Pataki’s aim of reducing energy use, which saves taxpayers’ dollars and also preserves the environment, through initiatives including electric vehicles and energy efficient lighting at many city facilities," said Mayor Joseph Delfino, City of White Plains.

"By replacing older fixtures with high-efficiency lighting; using motion-sensors to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms; replacing aging chiller plants with more advanced units and installing computer-controlled energy management systems, this NYPA building will be a model for energy-savings," stated Eugene W. Zeltmann, president and chief operating officer of the Power Authority.

Replacing the 21-year-old chilled water plant, which has reached the end of its useful life, is the major component of these improvements. Installing two new 460-ton chillers and associated cooling towers, valves, controls plus two sets of chilled water and condenser water pumps, will reduce energy use by 2.6 million kWh (kilowatt hours) for projected annual savings of over $191,000. Included in this project is the replacement of three Leibert AC units in NYPA’s computer room and two wall units will be replaced with high efficiency units. Total installed cost for the cooling systems project is $2.4 million.

Additional measures in this project include upgrades in lighting and computerization of mechanical environmental controls; installation of occupancy sensors in offices and common areas; lighting improvements in the building’s garage, and a power control system that reduces the power requirement for all existing lighting fixtures.

A computerized control system plus premium efficiency motors for fans and pumps, for the building’s heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system, will be installed to provide greater efficiency with reduced energy use, while maintaining comfort levels.

Cooling costs will be further reduced by the installation of reflective, thermal film on all windows to reduce the summer sun heat gain.

The upgrade in lighting and automated control systems will cost about $1.1 million with annual savings of over $120,000 on electricity costs. Energy use reductions of 1.9 million kWh are also expected. Total installed cost of the entire program is $3.5 million with energy use reductions of 4.5 million kWh leading to annually recurring energy savings of over $313,000. Including energy efficient building improvements previously done, the Power Authority has estimated energy reductions in excess of 50 per cent at this building from 1990 levels.

This project builds on extensive energy efficiency improvements in controlling air ventilation and lighting installed by NYPA in 1996-97.

In addition to energy efficiency projects, NYPA is using the Rappleyea building as a working laboratory for commercial applications of advanced "clean, green" energy technologies. On NYPA’s roof is a solar energy demonstration. The photovoltaic system delivers 5.5 kW to power parts of the building. A microturbine—clean energy system about the size of a refrigerator—is also used by NYPA to generate power and heat for the building. The building's garage includes charging stations for an array of emission-free all-electric vehicles.

The Power Authority is reviewing potential energy savings at the other buildings it owns and leases to assure compliance with the Governor’s Executive Order 111.

To assist with the implementation of the order, Governor Pataki introduced legislation, under consideration by the Senate and Assembly, to remove regulatory barriers and enhance the benefits of energy efficiency programs available to state agencies, local governments and school districts from NYPA and the New York State Energy Research Development Authority (NYSERDA).

The Clarence D. Rappleyea Building, named after a former NYPA chairman and chief executive officer, is located in the heart of downtown White Plains. About 650 Power Authority staff members occupy about half of the building’s 420,000 square feet, with the balance leased to others. Built in 1981, it was purchased by the Power Authority in 1991 after leasing space in the building since 1982.