Stony Brook Called Upon To Participate In Statewide Electric Emergency Plan
The week of July 17, 2006 brought record breaking temperatures, as well as record breaking demand for electricity, to Long Island. Over the past few months you may have heard about an electric curtailment program that Stony Brook University is now participating in where we would lower our electric consumption during emergency situations.
Participation in this statewide program by large commercial electric customers is intended to help avoid the situation that was responsible for the recent, ten day power outage in parts of Queens - not enough energy to meet the demand. By having such commitments from large users, utilities throughout the state would have enough energy available to avoid outages without having to build additional power generating facilities.
Here on campus we have an action plan that is implemented when an emergency is called. Stony Brook was informed that we would be on Day Ahead Alert for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, meaning that our participation could be required with two hours notification.
On Tuesday, July 18, 2006 we received the call that an energy emergency was being declared between 01:00PM and 08:00PM. At that time, we activated our plan. Down escalators, redundant elevators and some parking garage lights were turned off. In addition, fan motors in large air handling equipment, in several buildings, were slowed down.
This was possible due to the University's installation of a comprehensive energy management system. This system allows us to slow down the motors instead of turning them off; which would be very uncomfortable for building occupants. It also allowed us to do this remotely. Without this system in place technicians would need to visit a mechanical equipment room in each building; which is very time consuming. Remote operation allows the systems to remain fully operational right up until the time of the event so we could maintain comfort as long as possible.
At 05:00PM we were notified that the emergency had been extended until 10:00PM. When all of the dust settled, Stony Brook had met our obligation, and helped to ensure that there would be enough energy available to avoid potential power outages during this record setting event.