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Colleges: Colby-Sawyer Buys Electricity at Auction, University of Minnesota Installs LEDs

Linda Hardesty

Colby-Sawyer CollegeWorld Energy Solutions has helped Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire procure more than 10 million kWh of electricity at a savings over its prior contract. Additionally, World Energy enabled Colby-Sawyer College to secure renewable energy credits (RECs) for its entire electricity load.

Through a series of online auctions run on the World Energy Exchange, Colby-Sawyer College tested various terms and products. The competitive event attracted multiple suppliers, delivering a winning price 8 percent below its prior contract, even as wholesale rates had increased 11 percent. The auction also provided essential price discovery that enabled the college to secure RECs through World Energy, minimizing the premium the school paid for green power. Delivery under the new 36-month contract begins in August.

The University of Minnesota installed LED lights with occupancy sensors in stairwells on campus. The school chose Lithonia Lighting W Series LED Luminaires from Acuity Brands. Currently, the University has installed 961 of the LEDs in stairwells on the West Bank of the Twin Cities campus, providing an estimated annual energy savings of 379,392 kWh resulting in an estimated $30,000 in annual savings.

Based on the success of the initial installation, U of M plans to install an additional 6,000 W Series LED luminaires in 120 buildings across campus.

Tests revealed that stairwell usage across campus saw low foot traffic even during peak daytime operating hours. Many indoor and outdoor stairwells, back hallways and corridors were used only for brief time periods during the day, but remained illuminated 24-hours a day with standard fluorescent and HID fixtures.

The W Series LED luminaires feature integral occupancy sensors to manage lighting usage in low-traffic or low-occupancy areas such as stairwells, as well as corridors and restrooms. The LED luminaires automatically increase to 100 percent illumination as occupants enter the stairwells, walk corridors or enter a seldom-used space, then dim to 10 percent when areas are unoccupied. The dimming capability significantly reduces energy consumption by not fully lighting spaces when they are not in use.

Photo credit: kloeppel’s Flickr photostream



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