Nearly 30 energy efficiency projects totaling more than $230 million are in development across 13 City University of New York (CUNY) campuses, according to the New York Power Authority (NYPA).
As the nation’s largest urban public university, CUNY has seven community colleges, 11 senior colleges, and seven graduate or professional institutions spread across New York City’s five boroughs, serving over 260,000 undergraduate and graduate students and awarding 55,000 degrees each year.
According to NYPA, the CUNY energy efficiency projects advance the goals laid out in the BuildSmart2025 program, which calls for 11 trillion British thermal units (TBtu) of on-site energy savings in buildings owned by New York State.
The projects also directly support the goals of New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and the New York City Climate Mobilization Act, which both call for greenhouse gas emissions from buildings to be reduced by 40% by the year 2030.
“More than $230 million in energy efficiency projects are in development to combat building-based energy consumption, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in New York City,” said NYPA Interim President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll. “Under BuildSmart2025, NYPA is aggressively pursuing energy-efficient solutions that shrink New York’s carbon footprint and strengthen its energy security.”
“By reducing the energy consumption of CUNY’s buildings, these improvements will significantly curtail the emissions that harm our environment while lowering our costs and increasing the security and safety of our campuses,” said CUNY Chancellor Félix V. Matos Rodríguez.
At CUNY’s Bronx Community College (BCC) in University Heights, NYPA is in the final phases of a utility improvement project that includes the installation of a new centralized chiller plant. Approximately three miles of pipe and nine miles of conduit were installed throughout the campus for the project, which will generate nearly $5 million in annual energy-cost and maintenance savings. The $168 million project began in 2011 and will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 5,600 metric tons—the equivalent of removing more than 1,200 cars from the road.
NYPA is also implementing comprehensive lighting upgrades at BCC’s Meister Hall—located at 161 W. 180th St.—that include the installation of approximately 2,000 LED fixtures. The fixtures will be installed throughout the building’s interior and exterior and include lighting system controls. Construction on the more than $5 million project began this June and is expected to generate nearly $77,000 in annual savings. The new LED fixtures will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 350 metric tons—the equivalent of taking 75 cars off the road.
In addition, NYPA is in early development of a project that includes a full replacement of the BCC campus’ boiler plant and fuel oil tanks.
NYPA is also undertaking a lighting improvement project at CUNY’s Kingsborough Community College. NYPA will replace nearly 40 exterior light fixtures along the sea wall perimeter of the college campus and install a new power panel in the school’s gym for the fixtures. The new fixtures installed by NYPA will remain operational in flood conditions. The project will address campus security and safety concerns while reducing annual greenhouse has emissions by nearly 60 metric tons. Construction on the more than $3.6 million project began earlier this year.