Campus Buildings Get Smart

Smart Grid
The University’s Smart Grid project is off to a running start, with the installation of new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) controls in Capistrano Hall, which kicked off Phase I in the fall.

The Smart Grid will provide 80 smart meters (one or more) for every building on campus. The meters will record the consumption of electric energy and then communicate the information back to central energy information software, helping to identify poor performing buildings. In addition, new or upgraded HVAC control systems will be installed in 37 campus buildings, which will improve occupant comfort and save energy.

Next on the docket are the Central Plant and seven more buildings which are scheduled for completion as part of Phase I. These include: Amador, Eureka, Mariposa, Mendocino and Riverside halls, Library North and Library South. Phase 2 will retrofit nine buildings with the new energy management system.  The meters and HVAC controls systems will integrate communications and power system infrastructure, to allow for robust two-way communications, advanced sensors, and distributed computers to improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of power delivery and use.  The project also includes the construction of sixteen electric car charging stations on campus. They will be located in Parking Structure 1, Parking Structure 2, and next to the new Athletic Center. 

The work is being funded through an $8.6 million grant, which matches University funds with a $4.3 million Department of Energy (DOE) award. The DOE money was part of a $127 million smart grid infrastructure grant awarded to SMUD as part of the economic stimulus recovery act. Partnering with SMUD, Sac State was named the home of the Smart Grid. A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability. Such a modernized electricity network is being promoted by many as a way of addressing energy independence. The completed system is expected to result in significant monetary savings and reduced electrical consumption for the campus. Work is scheduled for completion in April, 2013.