University at Albany East Campus Slated for Energy Upgrade

Connie Cullen                           
(914) 390-8196

July 26, 2005


MASSENA-The New York Power Authority (NYPA) trustees Tuesday approved an up-to $2-million energy efficiency project to lower the energy costs of a research park in Rensselaer County operated by the University at Albany Foundation, for an anticipated savings of more than $200,000 a year.

The project will be undertaken at the foundation’s main laboratory building and biotech business incubator, and the energy plant building housing its boilers and chillers. The two buildings are part of the East Campus biotechnology research park in East Greenbush where about 200 students from the University at Albany attend classes, and high-tech, start-up companies are provided a supportive venue to promote their success and growth.

 “The upgrades are in keeping with other projects the Power Authority has undertaken over the years at the University at Albany that have lowered the college’s annual energy bills by more than half a million dollars, and greenhouse gas emissions by thousands of tons a year,” said Joseph J. Seymour, NYPA chairman. “We’re looking forward to reducing the energy costs of the East Campus biotechnology research park, supporting the dynamic interactions between faculty and students and researchers at the high-tech companies.”

The University at Albany Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation that encourages philanthropic contributions in support of activities and programs for the University at Albany. Its 94-acre research park is located at the former Sterling Winthrop complex, and is a designated New York State Empire Economic Development Zone, qualifying its tenants for tax credits and other incentives for encouraging business investments.

“The energy efficiency project that the Power Authority is planning will go a long way toward lowering energy costs at the East Campus,” said Dr. Sorrell E. Chesin, Executive Director of the University at Albany Foundation. “In doing so, it will contribute to our efforts under Governor Pataki to promote the growth of jobs in the Capital Region.”

The energy-efficiency measures planned by NYPA include upgrading the energy plant’s four boilers for multiple fuel flexibility; replacing outdated light fixtures with new ones that use up to 30 percent less electricity; installing occupancy sensors; and modernizing heating, ventilating and air-conditions systems. In addition, the Power Authority will also oversee removal of PCB-containing ballasts, lead paint, and asbestos in project work areas.

NYPA will provide all the financing for the project, which it expects to begin this fall and complete by early next year. It will recover its costs by sharing in the energy savings, after which the University at Albany Foundation will keep all future savings.

To date, NYPA has undertaken more than 1,400 energy-efficiency projects statewide at about 2,300 facilities. They’ve led to annual energy savings to tax-support public facilities of more than $90 million, the lowering of electricity use by about 190,000 kilowatts, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by about 705,000 tons.