SU, Alliant-Cogenex conclude six-year contract aimed at improving energy conservation on campus
SU, Alliant-Cogenex conclude six-year contract aimed at improving energy conservation on campusMay 04, 2001Jonathan Hayjhay@syr.edu
With the price of energy skyrocketing and its availability shrinking nationwide, Syracuse University has positioned itself to save money and help the environment with the recent conclusion of a six-year University Energy Conservation Performance Contract. The contract was a multi-million dollar, six-year collaboration with the energy management consulting company Alliant-Cogenex. All costs for completing the contract have been funded by a 10 to 15 percent annual reduction in energy usage by the University. “The project went very, very well,” says Timothy Sweet, director of SU Energy and Computing Management. “We not only put the tools in place to reduce energy consumption right now, but through our work with Alliant-Cogenex, there was a knowledge transfer to our staff at SU that will continue the energy savings in the future.” Over the six-year stretch, every building on campus had work done to make it more energy efficient. The work included the installation of energy-efficient lighting controls and switching systems; the addition of improved thermostats and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; installation of new ventilation hoods and roof stacks to buildings that contain harmful chemicals used in research; computer cluster cooling units; and improved insulation in many buildings. Some of the most extensive projects completed during the contract include: a new lighting control and variable drive control for pressurization of the Carrier Dome; a new lighting switching system installed in E.S. Bird Library; and a new lighting and heat exchange system for the Shaffer Art Building. “We developed a great relationship with the people at SU and are so impressed by their enthusiasm and motivation to make changes here,” says Gerry Palano, senior project manager for Alliant-Cogenex. “Because of the improvements made–basing it on today’s cost of steam, gas and chilled water–I believe SU has avoided over $1.5 million in utility costs since we began the project.” Sweet says the project has developed a mechanism for sustained energy management because the energy avoidance savings will be used to fund upgrades on the existing energy systems equipment. The cost savings for the upgrades will be complemented by SU employees who can install the upgrades because of energy systems’ knowledge they gained in workshops that were part of the contract.
Sweet says the University has also positioned itself for changes in the electric market that are occurring because of national de-regulation of utility companies. “The project has put in place a system that will be able to respond well to the restructured electric market, allowing us to receive the best possible pricing for energy,” Sweet says. Palano believes the leadership at SU was the key factor to success of the project. “There are a lot of people at SU who should be commended for their efforts and Tim Sweet is the top of the list, he was the real champion of this project,” Palano says. “I also think this couldn’t have been done without the hard work of Ginny (Virginia) Denton (director of SU’s Office of Design and Construction) and the leadership of Lou Marcoccia (senior vice president for business, finance and administrative services), who gave us the green light to make this happen.”