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NV Energy presents University with more than $49,000 in savings

University Facilities Services offers a sustainable cooling solution that will save even more money in the future

The University’s Central Chiller Plant is one of the University’s sustainability initiatives, helping to maximize resources on campus. (From left to right) Shawn Elicegui, NV Energy vice president of customer relations; Sean McGoldrick, associate vice president of University Facilities Services; Brad Taylor, University Facilities Services senior electrical engineer and Candice Payette, NV Energy major account executive.

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3/20/2017 | By: Nicole Shearer |

The University of Nevada, Reno recently received a rebate of more than $49,000from NV Energy as a result of Central Chiller Plant sustainable efforts. The plant, which was installed August 2016, provides chilled water for cooling to 27 buildings, with capacity to add more in the future, on the south end of the University's campus.

Before the Central Chiller Plant was installed, eight separate chillers in various locations on the south end of campus cooled 27 buildings. With four of those eight chillers in need of replacement and two new buildings in need of cooling, University Facilities Services saw an opportunity for efficiencies.

"This was the perfect intersection for us to change the cooling system into one large loop with all the buildings connected together," Brad Taylor, the University's senior electrical engineer, said. "The new Central Chiller Plant not only took the place of the four chillers, but it also has the capacity to handle the new William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center and the future Fine Arts Building, which is planned for construction."   

According to Taylor, the new plant is modular, which means another module can be added in the future to replace the four remaining chillers that are still in use as they reach the end of their lifecycle. There is also enough space to add a third module if needed.  

By connecting all the buildings together on one shared piping system, with one control system, if a chiller needs repairs, the other chillers in the system can handle all the cooling. Conversely, on cooler days, only one chiller may be needed for all of the buildings that run off the plant.  

In recognition of the energy savings that has resulted from the plant, NV Energy recently presented the University with a rebate. While the cooling control system continues to be fine-tuned, Taylor anticipates that further energy rebates will be achieved. Rebates received from this and other energy-saving projects at the University are reinvested in future energy-saving projects on campus.  

"NV Energy works closely with the University to implement various energy efficiency projects throughout campus," Shawn Elicegui, NV Energy Senior Vice President of Customer Operations, said. "We are proud to support the University in its ongoing sustainability efforts and look forward to our continued partnership."

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