College saves with green energy programs

September 30, 2013 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Chesapeake College Turbine

Chesapeake College Turbine

The wind turbine, seen under construction in this 2011 photo, generates about 20 percent of the electricity used by the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center at Chesapeake College.

Posted: Friday, September 27, 2013 6:00 am

Updated: 2:28 pm, Mon Sep 30, 2013.

College saves with green energy programs

WYE MILLS — Chesapeake College is annually saving $100,000 from its $600,000 energy budget since implementing an energy-reduction program three years ago.

According to a news release, the college partnered with Cenergistic, an energy-savings expert, in developing and implementing strategies to reduce energy consumption.

Dick Plutschak, Chesapeake’s energy education specialist, said the college has reduced consumption of electricity, fuel oil and natural gas since 2010. He said several strategies were critical to creating these savings.

“The HVAC control system has been reprogrammed to reduce energy usage. Building temperature schedules were revised to better fit building usage,” said Plutschak. “Lighting controlled by movement has been installed in many areas and parking lot lighting hours were reduced. We’ve also installed lighting fixtures utilizing much more efficient LED lighting.”

The college also is considering participation in the regional electricity grid’s Demand Management Program. When contacted by grid operator PMJ, participants reduce their electricity usage by an agreed-upon amount for a specified period of time.

“Electrical load is reduced by participants to reduce the load on the power grid,” Plutschak said. “This results in an immediate reduction of generation needed on the power grid system and the need to operate older, less efficient generators to provide system load.”

If the college participates, it will be reimbursed for its portion of load reduction.

Longer-term energy savings may also be realized when campus facilities are replaced or rebuilt and feature more efficient HVAC systems, according to Facilities Director Anthony Patterson.

The college also is generating some of its own electricity, thanks to the wind turbine positioned just off U.S. Route 50. It came online in 2011. The wind turbine generates about 20 percent of the electricity used by the Eastern Shore Higher Education Center located on the Wye Mills campus, according to Plutschak.

Plutschak also said energy savings are realized when people make energy-conscious decisions, starting with the basics of turning off lights and equipment when they are not in use.

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Friday, September 27, 2013 6:00 am.

Updated: 2:28 pm.

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