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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Alfred State: Blue and gold goes green with sustainability efforts

Located within the beautiful natural surroundings of New York’s Southern Tier, many activities and interests at Alfred State naturally revolve around enjoying the environment.
The college is also dedicated to environmental stewardship and advancing the principles of sustainability. As a result, a number of environmentally conscious efforts have been or are being implemented at Alfred State.
According to Director of Facilities Operations Glenn Brubaker, one notable project that has recently been completed was replacing all of the outdoor parking lot and loop-road light fixtures on campus, the majority of which were 250-watt and 400-watt high-pressure sodium fixtures.
“We replaced all of those with LED heads, resulting in a 60-percent savings in energy and maintenance costs,” Brubaker said. “We’ve also submitted a proposal to procure new LED fixtures for all of the exterior lighting on the campus buildings.”
Other examples of completed sustainability projects include the Zero Energy Home Laboratory on the Wellsville campus, as well as the Bergey Grid-Tie 10 kW wind turbine located near the outdoor athletic complex on the Alfred campus that offsets the power consumption of Pioneer Stadium.
The college also has a larger Northern Power Systems 100 kW wind turbine, which produces enough energy to power 15 average American homes annually.
“The energy produced offsets energy consumption for several of the college’s smaller energy accounts through a remote net metering agreement,” Brubaker said. “This remote net metering process allows us to apply energy credits we earn from the energy the wind turbine generates to other utility accounts owned by the campus. Alfred State was the first college within the SUNY system to implement a remote net metering system on campus.”
As for projects that are currently underway, the college’s boiler decentralization project is now in its third year.
“Right now, we have a central heating plant with high-temperature hot water boilers that were installed in the 1960s and are very inefficient,” Brubaker said. “We are in the process of installing condensing boilers in each of the buildings on the Alfred campus and will see significant savings in gas consumption when the project is completed.”
Currently, the heating plant is still serving half of the buildings on the Alfred campus, while the other half of the buildings have new satellite boilers in them. If all goes as planned, according to Brubaker, that project should be completed by the start of the fall 2017 semester.
“We are also working on a multi-year and multi-phased renovation project at our largest residence hall,” he noted. “The Mackenzie Complex is a 1,200-bed residence hall built in the early 1970s. We are being energy conscious with new boilers, HVAC systems, controls, and new lighting throughout. The first phase is out for bid this summer, with construction to begin in October.”
Glenn Brubaker, director of Facilities Operations at Alfred State, takes readings from the 18 kW photovoltaic arrays
Glenn Brubaker, director of Facilities Operations at Alfred State, takes readings from the 18 kW photovoltaic arrays on the south-facing roof of the Physical and Health Sciences building on the Alfred campus.