Governor Cuomo Announces Energy Efficiency Projects at 10 SUNY Campuses to Save $3.5 Million per Year and Build Cleaner Communities

January 23, 2014

From the Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo


Build Smart NY Projects Implemented by NYPA Showcased at Purchase College Today

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a partnership between the New York Power Authority (NYPA) and the State University of New York (SUNY) to undertake energy efficiency measures at 10 SUNY campuses that will save the university system $3.5 million each year and contribute to cleaner communities. The projects will reduce the university system's peak energy use by approximately 3.6 megawatts (MW) – enough to power some 3,600 typical homes – and help to eliminate 21,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.

“Under Build Smart NY, we are ensuring that New York State government is reducing our impact on the environment and saving taxpayers money,” Governor Cuomo said. “This partnership between NYPA and SUNY is a great example of government working together to achieve efficiencies and lower energy use and greenhouse gas emissions – in addition to promoting job growth in this high-tech industry. These projects will lead to savings of $3.5 million each year and enhance our efforts to build cleaner communities across the state.”

The projects, which are either in development or were completed in 2013, are part of Governor Cuomo's Build Smart NY initiative, which seeks to reduce energy use at state-owned or managed facilities by 20 percent by the year 2020. The $80 million in energy efficiency installations at 10 SUNY campuses across the state include projects involving new lighting, heating and ventilation upgrades, new electric motors, and replacement of outdated boilers and chillers.

SUNY and NYPA officials gathered today at SUNY Purchase College, near White Plains, where more than $22 millionin NYPA-financed and -implemented energy efficiency projects were on display. In addition to the work at Purchase College, the event also highlighted energy-saving improvements at the following SUNY campuses: University at Buffalo, College at Brockport, SUNY Buffalo State, SUNY Canton, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Downstate Medical University (New York City), SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (Syracuse), SUNY Maritime College (New York City) and SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse). Click here for more information on projects on these campuses.

“Partnerships like NYPA and SUNY's exemplify the kind of self-sustaining business models that are being pursued under the Governor's leadership for upgrading infrastructure and creating and retaining jobs in collaboration with private-sector firms,” said Richard L. Kauffman, chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State and chairman for the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

“NYPA is working hand-in-hand with SUNY to achieve its energy efficiency goals,” said Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO. “There's a saying that ‘you can't manage what you don't measure,' and thanks to the rigorous reporting requirements established under Governor Cuomo's Build Smart NY program, New York State has never been better positioned to achieve meaningful energy reductions.”

“SUNY is deeply committed to rehabilitating, renovating, and building its facilities in the most cost-effective and energy-efficient manner, and every new building constructed on a SUNY campus in the last decade has been designed to LEED silver standard or higher,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “As a result of our partnership with the New York Power Authority, energy savings projects have been initiated at campuses across New York, achieving significant improvement in energy efficiency. We look forward to enhancing these efforts in continued support of Governor Cuomo's Build Smart NY initiative.”

At SUNY Purchase College, NYPA completed three high-impact energy efficiency endeavors in 2013, including:

  • Installing an $11 million replacement of a nearly 40-year-old chiller with an ice-storage cooling and ventilation system serving the entire campus and saving the college $380,000 annually.
  • Implementing a $10 million project to replace the existing 40-year-old HVAC system to meet the temperature and humidity requirements at the on-campus Neuberger Museum necessary for the facility's re-accreditation from the American Association of Museums. The project reduces the museum's energy consumption by over 30 percent and delivers 30 percent more cooling.
  • Developing the first Energy Master Plan for any SUNY campus under Build Smart NY to help the college achieve greater energy-savings in the future.

The work at SUNY Purchase was performed by New York contracting firms, RCM Technologies and AECOM.

NYPA has committed to providing $450 million in low-cost financing for state facilities and an additional $350 million for other energy efficiency programs benefiting county and local governments under the Governor's Build Smart NY initiative.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2023, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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