$17,182.80! That’s the amount of the check presented to Millersville University on July 13 by PPL Electric Utilities’ Business Efficiency Program. MU received the check for the University’s Data Center, a new energy efficiency project in Boyer, which is saving the University thousands of dollars.
“This project contributes to the University’s goal to be net zero by 2040,” said Dr. John Anderson, president of Millersville, at the check presentation. “The rebates received from the PPL Business Energy Efficiency program contribute to the University’s revolving fund from which additional energy efficiency work will supported.”
“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 By replacing our outdated facility with a design incorporating the latest technology, we will have the infrastructure necessary to support our growing technological needs for many years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.
Watch a video and hear the sounds of the new Boyer Data Center.
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’s 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/.