new chiller plant brings valencia one step closer to sustainability

In charge of maintaining and operating the new chiller plant are (left to right): Clifton Taylor, John Letterman, Winsome Bennett (Valencia’s energy conservation manager), Robert Hickman, Lawrence Wainwright and Jim Nelson.

Valencia and Siemens officials gathered last week for a ribbon-cutting ceremony in the new environmentally friendly central chiller plant on Valencia’s campus in west Orlando.

 Siemens Building Technologies, Inc. installed the high-efficiency chillers, which are designed to supply all the cooling needs for the campus’s 14 buildings using chilled water. The new system will result in over $400,000 in energy savings a year or a 30% reduction in utility costs for the college. A similar chiller plant will soon be up and running on the college’s East Campus, further reducing costs by a combined $1 million per year.

 “Since 1998 we have been working on energy conservation projects touching lighting, water and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems within the buildings,” said Robert Hickman, who serves as the HVAC energy manager for the campus. “With this new plant, not only did we exceed our energy conservation goals, we were able to overcome insufficient cooling capacity and drastically reduce repair costs.”

 Besides the addition of the new chiller plants, the college has sought to reduce its overall impact on the environment by committing to building only LEED-certified facilities as designated by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design through the U.S. Green Building Council. So far, three Valencia buildings either have qualified for LEED gold certification or are awaiting certification.

 Valencia President Sanford Shugart has also signed the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. To date, 657 colleges and universities have pledged to reduce their campus greenhouse gas emissions over time.

Source: Marketing and Media Relations, Valencia Community College, 407-582-1015

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