Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 22, 2013

MSU seeks utility savings through Siemens Inc.

Staff report
The Independent

MOREHEAD — Morehead State University expects to save more than $775,000 annually in utility costs through an energy savings performance contract, university officials said Tuesday.

The 12-year contract with Siemens Industry Inc. Building Technologies division is expected to save the university more than $9.3 million.

“These measures provide a tangible demonstration of Morehead State University’s and the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s commitment to environmental responsibility by significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions associated with campus operations,” said Beth Patrick, chief financial officer and vice president for administration and fiscal services. “Projects like these demonstrate that energy efficiency and environmental sustainability can be fiscally and socially responsible improvements.”

Siemens worked with the university to complete a detailed facility infrastructure assessment and energy audit. Rather than continuing investments in the older coal plant and taking on more risk of increasingly stringent environmental requirements, it opted to construct a new natural gas-fired plant that would be more cost effective and compliant over time. In total, the project will affect 30 campus buildings and consist of:

‰A new, recently completed, 4,000-square foot natural gas-fired boiler plant to replace the university’s outdated coal-fired boiler plant, housing two new 900 horsepower steam boilers.

‰Facility upgrades for many of the campus buildings’ heating, air conditioning and electrical systems. Siemens will replace older fan motors and belts, install variable speed drives and, where necessary, dampers, valves and cooling coils.

‰Digital energy monitors on most campus buildings to track electricity consumption on a per-building basis.

‰Digital control upgrades that can be networked through the university’s existing IT infrastructure.

‰Lighting controls and occupancy sensors.

In addition to lowering ongoing operating costs, the university will curb its CO2 emissions by more than 8,381 tons per year, which is equivalent to planting 75.3 acres of trees or taking 1,491 cars off the road annually. The university also will avoid costs of over $4 million during the program primarily from reduced plant operations and maintenance costs.

The contract is Siemens’ fourth with a major Kentucky university in recent years.

Projects with Northern Kentucky University and Eastern Kentucky University were completed in 2006 and 2012, respectively. University of Louisville will wind up its second major phase of energy efficiency improvements in early 2013.