Watch Live @ 11am
National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (BNMC) have formed a historic innovative energy partnership that will support economic development and growth in the greater Buffalo Niagara region. The partnership – called “energize BNMC” – is part of the National Grid “ezone” strategy to engage community stakeholders in integrated energy initiatives that meet local needs.
The partnership, which will transform the BNMC into a global benchmark for energy innovation, was announced today as the partners unveiled the first initiative – the National Grid Model Energy Home. The BNMC-owned house, currently a vacant property located at 941-945 Washington Street on the campus, will be retrofitted into a one-of-kind model energy home to showcase cutting edge energy innovations, and will be open to the public and available for educational experiences of all levels.
The partnership‟s vision statement, developed through a collaborative and community approach with all the project stakeholders, states, “The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and National Grid partnership will define and implement the global standard for an efficient, modern, high-quality,
and customer-driven energy platform. National Grid will provide a world class customer experience while enabling BNMC‟s plans for economic growth and innovation both on the campus and in the broader Buffalo-Niagara region.”
The rapid growth of the medical campus, combined with plans for continued redevelopment of surrounding neighborhoods, is a key driver behind the need for innovative approaches to energy delivery and use on the campus and in surrounding neighborhoods. Following several years of
background discussion and research, National Grid and the BNMC in April formally began discussing an innovative approach to energy for the entire campus and its immediate neighbors. The partners will address and provide solutions to energy issues within the footprint of the newly formed
partnership, with goals of improving energy efficiency on and around the campus, modernizing the energy platform to enable better energy data visibility as well as new technologies such as electric vehicles and renewable energy, and driving overall innovation and learning.
“National Grid recognizes that customers need new solutions and new approaches, on everything from energy efficiency to renewable energy to smart technologies,” said Jim Madej, company senior vice president and chief customer officer. “We are partnering with communities to
develop and introduce innovative solutions that will meet not only their needs today, but will support their growth into the future.”
Steady growth on the BNMC presents unique challenges and opportunities for the partnership that will encompass capacity requirements, pricing, diverse energy delivery specifications, reliability, transportation-related energy needs, and modern energy management. The partners are planning a community-based approach to energy efficiency and innovation, including technical implementation of integrated efficiency solutions on campus along with initiatives centered around engaging more than
8,500 employees campus-wide, a number that will increase to nearly 12,000 by the end of 2012, and the more than 7,000 residents in the surrounding neighborhoods to think about energy savings in a
new way. As part of this effort, National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus will work with a range of partners from the private and public sectors.
Matt Enstice of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus stated, “National Grid has been instrumental in helping to identify new solutions that will meet our aggressive goals for growth and innovation on the medial campus and surrounding neighborhoods. We appreciate National Grid‟s leadership to recognize the importance of energy efficiency, renewable energy, smart technologies, electric vehicles, and other emerging technologies and approaches and to partner with us on these critical issues we face.”
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown added, “We are proud to support National Grid and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in their innovative energy partnership and we look forward to working with them on future endeavors. These advances in modern energy management will help drive growth not
only on and around the Campus, but throughout the Buffalo Niagara region. This partnership will also help revitalize our energy leadership in the City of Light.”
The National Grid Model Energy Home represents one initiative that this new partnership will undertake. The partners will renovate and retrofit the two-story, brick structure to demonstrate modern, state-of-the-art energy usage and efficiency techniques and showcase new energy
innovations. The age of the structure, which was constructed in 1915 as two separate homes and later joined and renovated for use as medical offices, will help illustrate the ability to use the latest
technologies in a preservation setting. The structure, which is just over 6,000 square feet, provides significant space for the variety of modern home energy installations and displays planned for the project, and will be fully accessible for those with disabilities.
“Buffalo and the Western New York region have a rich energy history, going back to the earliest development of power from Niagara Falls, some of the first electric streetlights right near here in Buffalo, and tied to some of the great names in early energy development like Tesla, Edison and
Westinghouse,” Madej said. “This backdrop provides extra significance to the National Grid Model Energy Home. The aim is to provide members of this region with a sense of pride in the origins and legacy of the first electricity grid established in the area, and how it has contributed to modern-day society.”
The new partnership will develop holistic initiatives and programs that will address transportation, alternative energy, cost-cutting energy efficiency and grid modernization. National Grid and BNMC continue to work very closely with the BNMC member institutions, including Kaleida Health, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the University at Buffalo, the Global Energy Institute, nearby neighborhood residents and business owners, policy makers, and other community members.
“We are excited to make modern energy systems a part of the fabric of our community,” said Enstice.
“With so much of our past steeped in the history of electricity, it is only appropriate that we harness the power of energy innovation to help drive our future,” said Erie County Executive Chris Collins. “Energize BNMC will further propel the innovation already happening on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, allowing entrepreneurs and small businesses owners to create more economic opportunity in Erie County.”
“We envision bringing UB‟s comprehensive research expertise to this partnership through smart grid technology, micro miniature energy storage, advanced materials, photovoltaics, nanomaterials, and energy-conscious architectural design. The result will be innovative energy
solutions for our region, and indeed, the world,” said University at Buffalo President Satish K. Tripathi.
National Grid and the BNMC are currently seeking technology partners to help integrate energy innovation into the medical and life science campus and the surrounding community.