New York Campus to Install Fuel Cell

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse will receive a US$1 million grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install a fuel cell based combined heat and power system that will provide on-site power generation.

Albany, New York – November 4, 2002 [] The waste heat from the fuel cell will be used for domestic hot water, space heating or space cooling on the campus. The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is also partnering with NYSERDA to assist SUNY-ESF with design and installation of the fuel cell system. “Combined heat and power systems can provide power to our colleges and universities more efficiently and with fewer environmental impacts than by conventional means,” Governor Pataki said. “New York State is leading by example when it comes to adopting advanced, clean-energy technologies and solutions that will protect our environment and preserve our energy resources. I have challenged State-owned facilities to improve their energy efficiency and begin purchasing power from renewable resources and I applaud SUNY-ESF for pursuing this option.” The award to SUNY-ESF will support the installation and operation of a 250-kilowatt molten carbonate fuel cell, the first of its kind in New York and one of only about five in the country that generates electricity from natural gas with minimal emissions. The fuel cell will play a role in the campus’s efforts to comply with the Governor’s Executive Order for State facilities to purchase renewable power. In June 2001, Governor Pataki issued Executive Order 111 directing State facilities to reduce energy use by 35 percent by 2010. It further directs facilities to purchase 10 percent of their power from renewable resources by 2005 and 20 percent by 2010. Under the order, fuel cells would qualify for the Renewable Energy requirement because they generate minimal emissions as a result of the electro-chemical process for generating electricity.The fuel cell to be installed at SUNY-ESF will generate about five percent of the campus’s power. “Combined heat and power systems have the potential to nearly double the efficiency of how we use our energy resources,” said NYSERDA President William M. Flynn. “At a time when nations around the world are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and sustainability, Governor Pataki and New York State are moving forward to adopt advanced energy and renewable technologies that minimize the environmental impacts resulting from our energy use.” NYSERDA has worked with seven other SUNY campuses to install, or study the feasibility of installing, combined heat and power systems. The additional campuses include Albany, Buffalo, Binghamton, Potsdam, Morrisville, Farmingdale, and Old Westbury. NYSERDA committed more than US$1.5 million toward those projects. Since 1998, NYSERDA has invested $7 million into nearly 50 energy efficiency projects on 21 SUNY campuses that will lower annual energy costs by US$13 million. NYPA has invested more than US$50 million in forty-three energy-efficiency projects with SUNY. The completed projects produce nearly US$10 million a year in lower energy costs and reduce SUNY’s annual electricity use by 92,800 MWh.

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