Empire State Plaza plans overhaul of efficiency initiatives, to source power from local solar project - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Solar  -  September 19, 2019

Empire State Plaza overhauls efficiency program

Empire State Plaza in Albany is planned to undergo comprehensive energy efficiency and resiliency upgrades in addition to the development of a solar project to power its operations, facilitated by the New York Power Authority and Office of General Services as a means to meet the state's goal for 100% clean energy by 2040.

NYPA and OGS announced Sept. 19 their collaboration on a large-scale remote solar array in Oneida County that will provide up to half of Empire Plaza's power needs. The proposal calls for the project to be built on state-owned land near the former Oneida County airport, as well as to include on-site solar panels and electrical energy storage to further reduce fossil fuel dependency.

Other efficiency upgrades to the facility include a $50 million project to replace the existing on-site emergency generators with state-of-the-art efficient, low-emission and low-noise units; a nearly $30 million electrification upgrade to one of the on-site steam-driven chillers to reduce local gas use and emissions by 18%; and a $16 million initiative to install LED lighting technology throughout the entire plaza complex to reduce energy use and statewide greenhouse gas emissions. These improvements will all allow OGS to exceed its goal of increasing energy efficiency at its facilities by 20% by 2020.

"Using reliable, efficient methods to power the Empire State Plaza and working to meet Governor Cuomo’s energy goals are priorities for the OGS team, so we are very pleased to begin developing the solar project," OGS Commissioner RoAnn Destito said in a statement. "Removing the smoke-stack from the former ANSWERS facility in the Sheridan Hollow neighborhood, upgrading the chillers and expanding our LED lighting program are further examples of our commitment to climate leadership in New York State."

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