continued “You could send information here from other locations and show how you are saving energy elsewhere, which leads into some other NYSERDA grants,” said Landry.
Town looks to grants for green upgrades
Matt Yetto, engineer for the Town of Niskayuna, said the town is also pursuing three projects through the NYSERDA Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Gram Program, which funds projects reducing energy use and fossil fuel emissions.
The biggest project is replacing three large existing electric motors at the town’s water plant that pump water into the system. The estimated time for payback of the project is less than two years and the motors are estimated to cost $80,000.
“The existing motors date back to the ‘60s and they’re not that efficient and we are replacing them with high-efficiency motors,” said Yetto. “The current motors they are off or they’re on and when we first turn them on they take a huge electrical draw from the system … just to start them alone the demand charges that are associated with that … we’re saving $26,000 a year and the estimated energy savings is almost $17,000 annually.”
Variable speed drives will also be installed, which allow the pumps to be throttled back and be used more efficiently. Landry said if it slowly builds up to the maximum usage over time then it lowers electricity costs.
The second grant is for $10,000 towards the replacement of existing lighting fixtures and bulbs at the waste water treatment plant, water treatment plant and two pumping stations. The bulbs will be replaced with higher efficiency bulbs and motion sensors will be installed to control this lights.
“Common practices now, safety wise, they leave the lights on at all times,” said Yetto.
The estimated payback for replacing all the light fixtures targeted in the grant is nearly 4-and-a-half years.
The final project is to replace one of the pumping station’s 1960s era meter, which Yetto said is highly inefficient. The project is the smallest, with an estimated cost of $1,000, and has a 2.2-year payback period.
“All these projects pay for themselves with the energy savings quite quickly,” said Yetto. “It is replacing something that a few years down the road we would have to replace anyway.”
The town would only pay 10 percent of the cost for each project, which would end up totaling around $10,000.