NYPA Press Release

NYPA and OGS Begin Comprehensive Energy Audit of Empire State Plaza

For Immediate Release: 09/28/21

NYPA Contact:

Paul DeMichele | paul.demichele@nypa.gov | (914) 390-8186

OGS Contact:

Joseph Brill | joseph.brill@ogs.ny.gov | (518) 474-5987

 

Ramboll Selected to Undertake the 18-Month Energy Audit

 

Project Advances State Goals to Green Empire State Plaza

 

ALBANY—The New York Power Authority (NYPA) and New York State Office of General Services (OGS) have begun a comprehensive energy audit of the Empire State Plaza as part of the state’s goal to green the plaza and for 100 percent of the electric generation in the state to be renewable energy by 2040. Ramboll, an industry-leading energy, environment, and health sustainability consultant, has been selected by NYPA and OGS to conduct the audit.

 

After a series of technical reviews, community listening sessions and meetings with neighborhood associations, the energy audit will look to expand on the current efforts already underway at the plaza, which were announced in 2019 after NYPA and OGS completed an evaluation of energy options for the plaza.

 

Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, “NYPA and OGS are leading by example with the ongoing energy transformation at Empire State Plaza through the development of significant solar generation, energy efficiency and resiliency projects. This comprehensive energy audit is necessary to ensure that the plaza is able to continue its critical operation while we also progress the ambitious energy goals of New York State.”

 

OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, “We are looking forward to getting this comprehensive energy audit underway and continuing our collaboration with NYPA to increase energy efficiency and resiliency at the Empire State Plaza. We are confident that Ramboll, a company OGS has successfully worked with on other high-priority projects, will help us identify the best options for making Plaza operations even greener and further improving the environment for our neighbors in Albany.”

 

The 18-month energy audit will aid the state in determining the benefit and feasibility of introducing existing and new energy innovations at the plaza. The planning includes the analysis and consideration of the impacts of the current and future utility operations of the plaza on the local and state community.

 

The plaza’s current heating and cooling system utilizes a boiler steam plant, powered by natural gas, to provide heating for the plaza in the winter months and leverages the high-pressure steam from the boilers to power several chillers for cooling in the summer months.

 

The plaza’s aging energy system needs to be modernized to support the 13,000 state employees who work there. The goals of the audit include:

 

  • Develop a path toward significantly reducing the plaza’s dependance on fossil fuels, including an investigation of geothermal and surface water as an energy source
  • Reducing the impact of the Empire State Plaza facilities on the local community and environment.
  • Maintain and improve the energy resiliency of the plaza.

 

The energy audit will look to expand on the current efforts already underway at the plaza, which were announced in 2019 after NYPA and OGS completed an evaluation of energy options for the plaza through a series of technical reviews, community listening sessions, and meetings with neighborhood associations.

 

Those developed projects—which includes last week’s selection of DG Development & Acquisitions to develop more than 30 megawatts of solar energy in Oriskany to serve up to half of the plaza’s electricity needs with renewable power—are currently underway:

 

  • Construction is underway on a nearly $30 million electrification upgrade to one of the on-site steam-driven chillers to reduce local gas use and emissions by 18 percent. The project is expected to complete next year.
  • Implementation is in progress on the $60 million replacement of the existing on-site emergency generators with state-of-the-art efficient, low-emission and low-noise units. The project is expected to complete within the next two years.
  • More than $16 million in LED lighting fixtures are being installed throughout the entire plaza complex to reduce energy use and statewide greenhouse gas emissions. The project is expected to complete in early 2023.
  • The old, out-of-use steel smokestack at the former ANSWERS plant has been demolished.

 

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New York State's Nation-Leading Climate Plan

New York State's nation-leading climate agenda is the most aggressive climate and clean energy initiative in the nation, calling for an orderly and just transition to clean energy that creates jobs and continues fostering a green economy as New York State recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. Enshrined into law through the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, New York is on a path to achieve its mandated goal of a zero-emission electricity sector by 2040, including 70 percent renewable energy generation by 2030, and to reach economy wide carbon neutrality. It builds on New York's unprecedented investments to ramp-up clean energy including over $21 billion in 91 large-scale renewable projects across the state, $6.8 billion to reduce buildings emissions, $1.8 billion to scale up solar, more than $1 billion for clean transportation initiatives, and over $1.2 billion in NY Green Bank commitments. Combined, these investments are supporting more than 150,000 jobs in New York's clean energy sector in 2019, a 2,100 percent growth in the distributed solar sector since 2011 and a commitment to develop 9,000 megawatts of offshore wind by 2035. Under the Climate Act, New York will build on this progress and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, while ensuring that at least 35 percent with a goal of 40 percent of the benefits of clean energy investments are directed to disadvantaged communities, and advance progress towards the state's 2025 energy efficiency target of reducing on-site energy consumption by 185 trillion BTUs of end-use energy savings.

 

About NYPA

NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 80 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. 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. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter @NYPAenergy, FacebookInstagramTumblr and LinkedIn.

 

The Office of General Services (OGS) was established in 1960 to provide essential support services for the operations of state government. Since then, OGS has grown significantly in scope and complexity. Today, OGS is a diversified organization providing a broad spectrum of services to state agencies, local governments, and the public. The primary mission of the Office of General Services (OGS) is to manage and lease real property; design and build facilities; contract for goods, services and technology; and deliver a broad scope of critical services for State agencies.