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CASE STUDY: NEW YORK UNIVERSITY

NYU's cogeneration system reduces the University's energy costs by over $5 million annually and prevents emissions of air pollutants, including an estimated 43,400 tons per year of CO2 emissions.

 

BUSINESS CHALLENGE
In order to meet the increasing demands for electricity, New York University (NYU) decided to expand its existing cogeneration plant on the Greenwich Village campus from 7000 kW to 13,400kW.  The expansion would allow for the University to generate its own electricity to accommodate additional buildings on campus.  The expansion also supports the University’s Climate Action Plan to reduce the University's GHG emissions and enhance its overall sustainability. 


SOURCEONE SOLUTION
describe the imageSourceOne served as the Owners Representative for the re-development of NYU’s existing 7000 kW cogeneration plant to support the additional electrical, steam and hot water needs for the campus. The NYU site consists of over 50 buildings.  As Owner’s Representative, SourceOne provided technical review, financial evaluation, contract development, assembly of development team, and utility liaison.  SourceOne’s technical and economic evaluation of the project concept plan entailed review and analysis of equipment selection, space allocation, preparation of a financial pro-formas, and development of facility load profiles.  In addition, SourceOne assisted NYU in utility budgeting for the campus and commodity procurement, including electricity, natural gas, and oil.  

With two combustion turbines, two heat recovery steam generators, and a steam turbine, the expanded CHP system generates up to 90,000 pounds of steam per hour and 13.4 MW of electricity. The system serves the electrical needs for 22 campus buildings and steam and hot water for 37 campus buildings.


RESULTS
The expanded cogeneration plant was built on time and on budget to support NYU’s increased electrical demand, resulting in a $5 Million annual reduction of the University's energy costs.
By producing its own energy, the cogeneration plant generates an operating efficiency of nearly 75 percent and prevents an estimated 43,400 tons per year of CO2 emissions.  By reducing demands on existing transmission and distribution infrastructure, the CHP system also helps support Electric Grid stability.  Finally, NYU is also able to sell excess electricity to Con Edison when campus demand is low, resulting in additional savings.  The new CHP system provides localized, reliable, electrical capacity allowing NYU to generate its own electricity, remain independent from the Electric Grid, reduce emissions, and save money.

Following the successful completion of the expansion in 2010, this project represented the largest renewable energy purchase of any college or university, as determined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  By engaging SourceOne to act as Owner’s Representative, NYU was able to rely on true energy and engineering experts to guide them through planning and implementation.  

NYU’s decision to generate its own power proved to be an extremely important advantage following 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.   In the fall of 2012, Hurricane Sandy, left millions without heat and power and caused $50 billion in damages. While the majority of Manhattan was without power, most of NYU’s Greenwich Village campus had electricity, heat, and hot water. NYU was able to generate electricity and heat on its own from their cogeneration plant, highlighting district energy and CHP as a sustainable energy model.  (learn more about NYU’s experience here.)

In 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded NYU with the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Award.  As one of five award recipients, the EPA selected NYU for its efforts in reducing emissions and increasing energy reliability and efficiency for its cogeneration plant. “Our Energy Star CHP award winners are better serving their students and patients while safeguarding the environment,” said Gina McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. “These institutions are protecting their critical operations from power outages and our climate from harmful carbon pollution with more reliable and more efficient CHP systems.”