York plays its part in conserving energy

York University is open and operating on limited power in order to reduce energy consumption as part of the region’s ongoing conservation efforts following the recent blackout.

“To conserve energy, we have reduced the university’s cooling system by 50 per cent of total capacity, operating three chillers rather than the six available,” said Gary Brewer, Vice-President, Finance and Administration for York.

“This system is responsible for cooling water, fan systems and temperatures in all our buildings. By
keeping temperatures at higher levels across campus, we are doing what many people are already doing in their own homes.”

In addition to reliance on the main power grid, the University operates its own co-generation plant using gas-fired turbines to generate 4.7 megawatts of power, of approximately one third of the total energy required by the University. Immediately following the power outage late Thursday afternoon, which affected all power and communications infrastructure, a process of regular contact was established with Toronto Hydro. York’s co-generation plant became operational again on Friday morning at 7:45 a.m. and power gradually returned to the university over the weekend.

Within the next few weeks the University expects to have a second co-generation plant fully operational. This unit will generate an additional 5.3 megawatts for a total of 10 megawatts out of the approximately 16 megawatts required to power the University’s operations.

“York administration, faculty and students demonstrated remarkable determination and patience during the blackout,” remarked Lorna R. Marsden, York University President and Vice-Chancellor. “In particular, I wish to thank everyone on the front lines – in security and parking services, facilities, administration, computing and network services and so many areas – who worked around the clock, often in darkened offices, to manage the operations of the University.”

For further details carried in a Media Relations news release, visit http://www.yorku.ca/ycom/release/archive/081803.htm.