New York Power Authority Recognizes SUNY Energy Programs with BuildSmart NY Awards

November 4, 2015

SUNY Receives $2.7 Million in Grants to Support Acceleration of Operations & Maintenance at State Facilities

Albany – The State University of New York and two campuses – Purchase College and Stony Brook University – today received awards from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) in recognition of their contribution to BuildSmart NY, which aims to reduce state agency energy use by 20 percent by 2020.

Additionally, System Administration and 11 SUNY campuses received a total of $2.7 million in grants as part of NYPA’s Operations and Maintenance Acceleration Program (OMAP).

“SUNY’s building portfolio represents 40 percent of all state-owned facilities, and we committed to maintaining a highly energy-efficient and sustainable infrastructure,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “SUNY is proud to take on a leading role in Governor Cuomo’s BuildSmart initiative, which aligns closely with a major tenet of our own strategic plan to reduce our carbon footprint as we contribute to an Energy-Smart New York.”

BuildSmart NY is Governor Cuomo’s statewide initiative to accelerate energy efficiency in State buildings, while incorporating broader State policy goals to foster cost-effective investment, stimulate the clean energy marketplace, advance energy security and resiliency and protect the environment and public health. At the centerpiece of BuildSmart NY is Executive Order 88, which requires a 20 percent improvement in energy efficiency at State-owned and managed buildings by the year 2020.

The following awards were presented to SUNY and its campuses today at the 2015 BuildSmart Innovators Summit in Albany:

BuildSmart NY Super Saver of the Year Award: The State University of New York

Led by Karren Bee-Donohoe, executive director of the SUNY Office for Capital Facilities, the system’s state-operated campuses and statutory colleges collectively achieved the best overall energy reduction results from the 2010 baseline through 2014 of all State agencies in the BuildSmart NY program.

BuildSmart NY Project Award for Innovation and Excellence in Energy Management: Purchase College

Led by Senior Energy Manager Tom Kelly, the Purchase College Ice Storage Project makes ice at night, during off-peak hours when electricity costs and demand are low, and uses the ice to cool during the daylight hours. The project has reduced maintenance and generated energy savings. During the 2014 summer season, the college was also able to save an average of 1 MW off of its peak.

BuildSmart NY Project Award for Innovation and Excellence in Energy Management: Stony Brook University

Led by Director of Environmental & Energy Policy Joseph Russell, the Stony Brook University Energy Performance Contract Project included outdoor lighting throughout the campus with LED fixtures, which significantly reduce energy use and provide better control for reducing lighting in areas not being used during summer and class breaks. The project also included upgrades to HVAC controls, allowing more efficient energy management.

An extension of BuildSmart, OMAP was created by the New York Power Authority to stimulate and accelerate operations, maintenance, and minor rehabilitation projects at state facilities. A major component of the program is the OMAP Grant Competition. NYPA will directly fund projects through grants, and indirectly through the establishment of revolving loan programs with award recipients. OMAP grants will enable agencies to more effectively break down structural barriers to the implementation of strategic operations and maintenance programs.

Dispersed among SUNY System Administration and 11 campuses, SUNY was awarded nearly $2.7 million as part of the program, from a total pool of approximately $7 million. Funded projects will include hiring an Energy Manager (SUNY Buffalo State College, SUNY ESF and SUNY Potsdam); building retro-commissioning (SUNY Cortland, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Fredonia, University at Albany); expanding preventative maintenance programs (SUNY Fredonia, SUNY College at Brockport, System Administration); and heating ventilation and air conditioning improvements as well as control upgrades (University at Albany, Stony Brook University, University at Buffalo, and SUNY New Paltz).

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, 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 2022, 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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