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Improvements to Hyde Park Ice Complex Advanced
NY Power Authority and City of Niagara Falls Partner to Improve Municipal Facilities’ Energy Efficiency

For Further Information:
Christine Pritchard
518-322-9143
christine.pritchard@nypa.gov

June 4, 2009

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NIAGARA FALLS—New York Power Authority President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel was joined today by Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster to announce a partnership to advance green energy projects at municipal facilities to reduce power costs and save taxpayer money. 

In making the announcement, Kessel and Dyster stood together at the Hyde Park Ice Complex to underscore the importance of the facility to the quality of life and character of the community and their commitment to advancing improvements to the facility that will transform it into a destination for tourists and tournaments once again. 

“It is critical that we continue to pursue energy efficiency projects at our public and municipal buildings to advance Governor Paterson’s 45 by 15 plan for the state to reduce energy use 45 percent by 2015, increase our energy independence, support the growth of the state’s clean energy economy and help protect our environment,” said Kessel. “Mayor Dyster is truly a visionary in terms of his support for clean energy initiatives and should be commended for his commitment to the betterment of this important community facility as well as numerous municipal buildings.” 

“We welcome this opportunity to partner with the New York Power Authority in pursuing energy efficiency in our municipal buildings,” said Dyster. “Energy conservation and the development of more efficient energy delivery systems are issues we can no longer afford to simply talk about, we have to start acting.  This is the first step in a cooperative energy evaluation process that will continue to the benefit of state, city and consumer.  Ultimately, it will save the tax payers money – and that’s a very good thing”  

Working with city officials and the city’s consultant DiDonato Associates, NYPA’s energy services staff has conducted a walk-through energy audit within the ice complex and identified several internal upgrades that, if complete, would modernize the facility, reduce overall energy use and cut the city’s energy costs dramatically.

Some of the energy conservation measures include: 

  • Retrofitting and replacing lighting in the entire complex with modern, energy efficient light fixtures;

  • Replacing two old hot water tanks and converting to a single-point-of-use system with a high efficiency boiler to heat the water;  

  • Upgrading the heaters and air handling units to bring fresh air from the outside into the complex and heat more efficiently;

  • Modernizing the chilling equipment that makes ice and keeps it cold; and

  • Sealing and weather-stripping the building to minimize infiltration.  

City officials and NYPA staff are hoping for work to start in the spring of 2010, with the entire project taking up to six months for complete.

In addition to upgrades to the ice complex, NYPA is partnering with the City of Niagara Falls to identify similar energy efficiency upgrades for at least a dozen other municipal buildings such as City Hall, the Brydges Library and the LaSalle branch library, the Department of Public Works, which includes sanitation, auto and truck repair, and street maintenance, and the Parks and Recreation building. 

NYPA supervises all phases of energy conservation projects, beginning with audits to identify opportunities to save energy and reduce costs.  NYPA’s supervision continues through installation of such features as high efficiency lighting, motors, boilers and chillers; lighting occupancy sensors; and computerized energy management systems. 

NYPA provides financing for all up-front costs with low-interest loans that will be repaid over a period of time. Loans are calculated against the energy savings from the completed project and any excess savings are retained by the municipalities. Thus, in most cases there are no out-of-pocket expenses. NYPA also helps to identify potential state and federal funds that may be available to lower overall project costs and discuss the potential for new, clean energy technologies within a facility. 

NYPA has been a leader statewide in energy efficiency and conservation projects.  In 2008, NYPA financed $116 million in energy efficiency projects and now has surpassed $1.28 billion of cumulative financing since the 1980s.  The Power Authority’s energy-saving projects at public facilities have reduced energy bills statewide by $111 million annually, saved more than 2.1 million barrels of oil per year and 214 megawatts of demand reduction.  The work has also cut annual emissions of greenhouse gases by more than 800,000 tons annually.  

Any municipal governments or school districts interested in further information on the energy services programs offered by NYPA, please contact the Power Authority’s Business Development Office at 518-433-6734. 

Kessel noted that NYPA has broadened its commitment to clean energy projects throughout New York State with the pledge to invest $1.4 billion in renewable and energy efficiency projects by 2015. To that end, Governor Paterson has recently submitted bills to the State Legislature that would expand NYPA’s authority to engage in such projects at public and private facilities, and allow NYPA through the Office of General Services to make aggregate purchases of energy for state agencies to reduce their overall energy costs.  

“This fiscal crisis has made it apparent that the state must find every means possible to reduce costs and these pieces of legislation are important steps in doing so by reducing the need for electricity through efficiency projects and by allowing for the bulk purchase of energy for state facilities to reduce their overall energy costs by as much as $4 million,” Kessel added.

■    NYPA 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 is a leader in promoting energy-efficiency, new energy technologies and electric transportation initiatives.  ■    It is the nation’s largest state-owned electric utility, with 18 generating facilities in various parts of the state and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines.   For more information, www.nypa.gov.

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