Goal: Providing high quality, continuous energy that defines a global standard for innovation, energy efficiency and modern energy management and meets the needs of the energy-intense Medical Campus
Energizing the Campus and Community
BNMC is dedicated to leveraging demand management, energy efficiency, grid modernization, alternative transportation, and distributed energy resources in fostering a sustainable, growing community. We collaborate with our member institutions, surrounding neighborhoods and key stakeholders, notably National Grid. Together, we developed an Energy Innovation Plan that supports economic development and growth in the Buffalo Niagara Region.
A total investment of $1.8 million has been made to date in energy-related projects through BNMC, primarily centered on the development of a potential microgrid and two REV demonstration projects with National Grid. Initiatives underway concentrate on developing the Campus and surrounding neighborhoods as a self-sustainable energy hub, enabling this dynamically managed portfolio to be self-sustaining during weather or system-related events – critical for energy-intense medical institutions – as well as to optimize during “blue sky” days.
Integrating portfolio level command, control and distributed energy resources with the transmission and distribution grid infrastructure, linking customer to utility will position the collective BNMC portfolio to serve as a robust smart grid asset.
Three concurrent studies
- Grid Modernization Study: Conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and funded by NYSERDA and National Grid, this study focuses on grid modernization and power quality. Our goal is to understand the current energy environment and identify opportunities for efficiency upgrades collectively, and within member institutions. It will help us determine the benefits of innovative systems such as micro-grids and renewable energy sources and determine the feasibility of the Medical Campus as a self-sustainable energy hub.
- Thermal Load Optimization Study: The Gas Technology Institute (GTI) and National Fuel have funded this study led by CDH Energy to provide an assessment of cogeneration/combined heat power (CHP) options for Medical Campus institutions.
These studies will be used to inform the BNMC’s NY Prize feasibility application outlined below:
Micro-Grid Feasibility Assessment/NYSERDA via NY Prize
The BNMC was awarded a $1,500,000 through two separate grants from NYSERDA as part of its NY Prize Micro-Grid Competition to study the feasibility of a community micro-grid to maintain and optimize energy services for Medical Campus facilities and surrounding neighborhoods. Learn more.
BNMC Community Micro-Grid
As part of the Energy Innovation Plan, the BNMC is focused on developing a Community Microgrid based on its feasibility assessment. It functions like the larger electric grid but serves a smaller footprint, providing energy for multiple entities within a contained boundary. It will operate multiple sources of power generation and includes the pipes and wires needed to deliver the energy produced. As a grid connected resource, the micro-grid has the ability to operate in parallel (connected) to the grid or in a stand-alone isolated (island) fashion.
A micro-gird has the ability to serve as a refuge and provide critical services during a crisis, to strengthen the central grid and provide relief to strained systems during periods of high electricity demand. Micro-grids enhance community economics from attracting new businesses to reducing or delaying infrastructure investment especially where power quality and reliability are key elements in growth. Advanced software and control capabilities with access to multiple sources of power generation also allow more renewables to be integrated into the system.
Smart Grid Network Operations Center (NOC)
The Smart Grid Network Operations Center (NOC) will provide a platform for BNMC member institutions to optimize energy flexibility based on individual priorities with respect to reliability, cost, and sustainability, while actively coordinating their collective distributed energy resources (DERs) in a market that compensates them for providing such system benefits.
Elements include integrating campus level command/control capabilities with the transmission and distribution grid infrastructure linking customer to utility, enabling our collective portfolio to serve as a smart grid asset; the ability to respond to market fluctuations in price or demand and the ability to monetize capabilities to generate revenue. It will also allow us to maximize economic value through the efficient use of distributed energy resources such as cogeneration, renewables, storage, alternative fuel / generation resources and controllable loads.
The Fruit Belt Neighborhood Solar Partnership is a demonstration project of National Grid and includes the installation of solar energy systems on homes in the adjacent Fruit Belt Neighborhood. The goal is to introduce renewable energy in a dense, urban neighborhood and to determine whether concentrated neighborhood solar projects can produce grid efficiency, make economic sense in low- to moderate- income neighborhoods, and if they can be replicated elsewhere. It is part of New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV). Free to eligible homeowners, the program will extend energy savings to the resident and to additional community residents who expressed interest but whose homes were not eligible.
The BNMC uses and promotes clean energy alternatives. We use off-grid lighting on our Ellicott Street parking lot that are solar and wind powered, we have a solar array installed on BNMC’s Innovation Center, and we have electric car charging stations for use by employees, patients and visitors across Campus.
Check out the latest energy news here.