BOYERA new energy efficiency project at Millersville University (MU) is saving the University thousands of dollars. The University recently completed the work to migrate the University’s Data Center, in Boyer Building, which resulted in several key energy efficiency upgrades. MU submitted the project to Pennsylvania Power and Light’s (PPL) Business Efficiency Program, which includes higher education institutions, and will receive a check for more than $17,000. PPL will be presenting the University with the rebate check on July 13 at 2:30 p.m. in Gordinier Hall.

“This data center is an important addition to our university.  By replacing our outdated facility with a design incorporating the latest technology, we will have the infrastructure necessary to support our growing technological needs for many years to come.  In addition, the reduction in energy consumption will not only help us to attain our sustainability goals, but also reduce our overall operating expenses,” says Nancy Pruskowski associate vice president/CIO of Information Technology.

The new data center transitioned from using computer room air conditioning units to a closed-room system with a central air-conditioned passage that greatly reduces the amount of cooled space needed to keep the servers operating optimally. The energy efficiency upgrades resulted in at least a 20 percent reduction in electricity, saving over 286,380 kWh in electricity and reducing greenhouse emissions by over 125 tons annually.

“This is probably the single biggest energy efficiency project we have completed since releasing our Climate Action Plan. The annual electricity savings would almost be enough to power two Lombardo Welcome Centers—the net zero energy building that’s currently under construction,” says Chris Steuer sustainability manager.

In the fall of 2008, Pennsylvania enacted a new law, Act 129, to reduce demand on the electrical grid by requiring utilities to develop plans to encourage energy efficiency and conservation among their customers. Those plans include rebates for new appliances, lighting and windows, energy audits, and refrigerator recycling programs.

MU’s rebate was calculated based on the energy savings and the cost factors of the project. The University Data Center was considered a custom project and is paid at a rate of $0.06 per kWh savings over a one-year period.

“Participating in PPL Electric Utilities’ Energy Efficiency Program helps us reduce the overall costs of our energy-efficiency projects. It’s a great incentive and one that we’re happy to raise awareness of among our fellow universities and the business community,” says Steuer.

For more information about this and other sustainability projects on campus, visit http://www.millersville.edu/sustainability/.

 

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