State University of NY

College Replaces Central Heat with Satellite Boilers, Saves $600,000 Per Year

State University of NYThe State University of New York – Cortland has updated its heating plant and expects to save nearly $600,000 in energy costs per year.

The 60-year-old, centralized heating plant was taken offline in May and replaced with new high-efficiency boilers installed in each building across campus, according to SUNY Cortland.

Heating costs have accounted for more than 40 percent of the college’s energy budget, but that percentage will now be reduced.

The $12 million, two-year project replaced the old central steam heating plant and its three-pipe network with 42 individual boilers going into 21 buildings, allowing the steam heat produced by each boiler to remain in that structure. The old system allowed much heat to go to waste as the steam traveled from the plant to dozens of campus buildings. The new satellite boilers will also reduce the amount of natural gas usage.

Tim Slack, the director of SUNY Cortland’s physical plant, said the college installed Aerco Benchmark boilers.

Steam leaks in the old pipe system also required high maintenance, which should now be greatly reduced. However, the college will retain its 17-member heating maintenance staff. But instead of a 24-hour, 364-day-per-year schedule, maintenance staff will now cover a 17-hour workday from 7 am to midnight. With more than 3,000 pieces of equipment to maintain on campus, the full staff is still needed to perform preventative maintenance work, replace filters and grease motors.

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