Fairfield University takes steps to handle the heat

Fairfield University takes steps to handle the heat

The heat wave has prompted Fairfield University to close its summer outdoor camps today. In addition, Richard Taylor, associate vice president for campus planning and operations, announced that the Grounds Crew will be dismissed at 1 p.m. "These are the same gentlemen who work long hours clearing the snow on campus. They work in some extreme weather conditions," he said. Earlier this week employees were asked to shut off all nonessential lighting and to "stay cool and drink water."

Taylor said the university is prepared to "throttle down on air conditioning" and "use our emergency generators to reduce our energy consumption." Other measures would include shutting down lights in areas such as the Quick Center and the Recreation Complex.

Fairfield University belongs to a consortium of institutions called EnerNoc which has an agreement with ISO New England to reduce energy use when notified. The call hasn't come in yet, Taylor said, but "we are on high alert." Last year Fairfield was recognized by ISO New England as one of the best consumers in the consortium for reducing its Megawatt usage from four to one during a period of high demand on the system.

Fairfield University is in the process of constructing a heat and power plant that will generate 99 percent of its own electricity. Taylor said the plan is to have it operational in February. He said, "taking 4 Megawatts off the very stressed local grid should be helpful to the system and reduce energy costs for the University."

Posted On: 08-02-2006 10:08 AM

Volume: 39 Number: 7