A grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) enabled Syracuse University to become the first energy consumer in central New York to install technology that allows minute-to-minute monitoring of the university's power usage.

The technology parallels the energy-monitoring capabilities of the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. (Syracuse) and allows the university to manage energy consumption to save energy and reduce costs, according to Steve Lloyd, associate director of the university's Energy Conservation Program.

“The system, which utilizes Power Measurement (Saanichton, British Columbia, Canada) meters and computer software, also enables the university to more precisely predict energy consumption 24 hours in advance and take advantage of daytime energy price fluctuations by reducing energy needs during peak periods,” Lloyd says. “Simple measures, such as adjusting the air flow in selected buildings and shedding nonessential loads during peak periods, will conserve energy in ways that will not affect working conditions inside of buildings.”

So far, the university has installed 19 meters on campus. The meters are in the university's main electrical substations and in nine representative pilot buildings.

NYSERDA officials, impressed with the university's progress in interval metering, have requested that the grant remain open to allow them to gather additional data on the project. NYSERDA is particularly interested in the university's ability to use the technology to immediately respond when the New York State Independent System Operator declares an electrical-emergency condition.

The university is a member of the state's Emergency Demand Response Program, the goal of which is to reduce the overall load on the state's electric grid by asking qualifying customers to voluntarily reduce their energy consumption.
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