Ohio State's energy efficiency plans

Originally published by Chris Booker, Ohio State News. Rescheck Review does not claim any or part ownership of this article.

Chris Booker Ohio State News booker.9@osu.edu 614.292.7276

The Ohio State University plans to start work on more than $44 million in energy system improvements.

The project will upgrade 40 academic, administration, medical, athletic, and student residence buildings. This will be the fourth of five phases of energy efficiency measures that are part of the Ohio State Energy Partners (OSEP) program.

“The framework of these optimization projects looks at each building as part of the whole energy system,” said Scott Potter, senior director of comprehensive energy management in the Office of Business and Finance. “We analyze the heating and cooling systems, the motors that might be running in the building, the ducts that are in the building, pumps – anything that has an electrical or heat load.

The projects are guided by building-specific energy audits performed in 2020. Some of the construction includes: changing heating and cooling elements in campus buildings; optimizing air-handling and airflow; and upgrading fans and pumps for optimally efficient circulation.

Phase IV will also install a heat recovery chiller in the East Regional Chilled Water Plant, extend the heating hot water network in the surrounding area, and optimize the chilled water network controls.

Potter said Phase IV is another milestone in the progress made by OSEP. More than 100 buildings on campus have undergone some level of energy conservation measures, 40 more will undergo a similar transformation if the proposed plan is approved, and about 50 to 60 buildings would finish optimization in Phase V. In 2017, Ohio State transferred the management of the systems that heat, cool and power the Columbus campus to ENGIE to operate these systems on behalf of OSEP.

To date, Ohio State Energy Partners has made tangible progress, including:

  • Converting a total of 107,000 indoor light fixtures and 1,700 outdoor light fixtures to energy-efficient LED technology over the past two years.

  • Completing the deployment of smart energy meters on campus – now totaling more than 750 electricity, natural gas, steam and chilled water meters – which are linked to a custom-built Digital Platform. This system will allow ENGIE and Ohio State to monitor the utility system infrastructure and energy consumption throughout campus.

  • Making infrastructure improvements to support utility systems for facilities around the Oval, within the Arts District and for health sciences facilities.

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