New York State Announces Energy Efficiency Upgrades at State Office Building

John J. Flanagan

June 15, 2009

New York State Office of General Services (OGS) Commissioner John C. Egan, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) President and Chief Executive Officer Francis J. Murray Jr., New York Power Authority (NYPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Kessel, Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) President and Chief Executive Officer Kevin S. Law, and State Senator John Flanagan recently unveiled a new 200-kilowatt fuel cell.  The project is the final phase of the multi-year energy efficiency investment plan at the Perry B. Duryea, Jr. State Office Building in Hauppauge.

Powered with natural gas, the state-of-the-art fuel cell will generate 1.6 million kilowatt hours of renewable electricity per year, about 25 percent of the building’s electricity requirements.  Its output is equivalent to the electricity needed to power the homes of more than 200 families.  Operation of the fuel cell greatly reduces the carbon footprint of the 365,000 square foot, 34-year old facility.

In addition, a 500-kilowatt peak load generator, also powered with natural gas, has been installed to further reduce the facility’s energy usage as well as provide backup power in case of an electrical outage.  The combination of the fuel cell and generator reclaims 900,000 British Thermal Units (BTUs) of thermal energy to be utilized in the building, and, as such, is considered a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) installation.  The system is projected to yield utility cost avoidance in excess of $267,000 annually.

Funding and technical assistance for the $5.4 million project came from various sources, including the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority ($978,650), the Long Island Power Authority’s Research and Development Program ($200,000), and the U.S. Department of Energy ($200,000).  In addition, State Senator John Flanagan was instrumental in helping to secure $450,000 in Petroleum Overcharge Restitution funding.  The remainder was financed by NYPA through its Energy Services Program.

“In the continuing effort to increase conservation awareness, it is extremely important that New York State serve as a positive example.  That is why the greening of the Perry Duryea State Office Building is so important and why I am so proud to play a part in bringing this project to reality,” Senator Flanagan said.  “The completion of this project will lower the energy consumption at this facility and provide needed savings for our taxpayers without impacting critical services for our residents.  Above all, it will lower the building’s impact on our collective environment and that will benefit everyone.”

“NYSERDA is pleased to provide nearly $1 million for this exciting project, which will showcase the substantial energy and environmental benefits of fuel cell technology and combined heat and power,” said Francis J. Murray, Jr., President and CEO of NYSERDA.  “This partnership will complement Governor Paterson’s comprehensive energy agenda, which will make New York the most energy efficient state in the nation, encourage the use of renewable energy technologies, and tackle the crisis of global warming.”

Richard M. Kessel, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Power Authority (NYPA) said: “Under the leadership of Governor Paterson, New York State is leading by example with the completion of this comprehensive clean energy project in the Duryea State Office Building.  NYPA is committed to pursuing projects that will support our energy independence, keep the environment clean, and advance New York State as a leader in the clean energy economy.  On Long Island alone, we have already completed clean energy projects at nearly 400 facilities, resulting in the avoidance of 77,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and we plan to aggressively pursue additional opportunities.”

Kevin Law, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Long Island Power Authority said: “This project combines multiple distributed generation and energy efficient technologies and provides an ideal test bed for these technologies that can provide LIPA and its partners with valuable information regarding their performance and interaction both with each other and with LIPA’s electric system.  This is consistent with LIPA’s mission of promoting green energy buildings and is consistent with Governor Paterson’s 45 by 15 program, which establishes the goal for New York State to meet 45 percent of its electricity needs through improved energy efficiency and renewable sources by the year 2015.”

This project was the final phase of an initiative at the building that began in 1992 in conjunction with NYPA’s Energy Services Program.  Prior improvements have included the installation of high efficiency indoor and outdoor lighting, electric chillers, and motors, as well as the replacement of the building’s atrium curtain wall. 

Together with the latest additions, these changes help ensure that the building complies with Executive Order 111, which directs state agencies to become more energy efficient and increase their use of clean, renewable power.  The Order requires state facilities to cut energy use by 35 percent by 2010, compared to 1990 levels. It is estimated that the cumulative improvements help the state avoid more than $521,000 annually in utility costs while reducing greenhouse gases by 7,939 tons per year.  

The initiative reflects OGS’ aggressive approach to energy conservation. For the 2008-09 fiscal year, the agency reported an 8.12 percent reduction in energy use in its statewide building portfolio, encompassing 19.5 million square feet of space, compared with the 2007-08 fiscal year. OGS was able to drive down energy consumption at the Duryea Building by nine percent.   

The Duryea State Office Building hosts the regional offices of 16 state agencies, including the Departments of Transportation, Motor Vehicles, Education, and Taxation and Finance. Overall, nearly 900 people are employed there.