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A view of Cal State Fullerton and environs. Photo by Kelly Lacefield.

California State University Recognized

Fullerton Takes Part in "Flex Your Power" Energy Demand Program

January 6, 2009

The California State University has been recognized by the state’s Flex Your Power campaign for reducing power use last summer by up to 3 megawatts during times of critical demand.(One megawatt is enough power to serve 500-1000 homes at any given time, according to Southern California Edison.)

Eleven CSU campuses, including Cal State Fullerton, shut down or reduced the use of electricity during these critical energy demand periods.

“With California’s power grid stretched to the breaking point every summer, the CSU has stepped up its commitment to be part of the solution by flexing our power,” said Len Pettis, CSU chief of plant, energy and utilities. “Through demand response, the CSU has become more energy conscious and lowered its energy usage while generating revenue for reinvestments in energy-efficiency and production programs.”

As an example of the efforts made, Cal State Fullerton, with the single largest demand response capacity commitment, uses a building management system to automatically turn off 1 megawatt of air conditioning and lighting throughout the campus.

The CSU’s demand response program, called Clean Green California, is made possible by a partnership with utilities and Energy Network Operations Center (EnerNOC) Inc.

Many campuses track and verify demand response during Flex Your Power alerts to see, almost immediately, the benefits of campus power reductions. In addition, campuses can view their overall energy use during non-alert hours to help manage baseline power use.

“As a leader in the community, charged with educating the workforce of the future, the CSU is proud to preserve and promote a sustainable environment,” said Pettis. “The Clean Green California program helps prevent power blackouts and promotes intelligent use of existing resources.”

To further reduce university energy resource consumption, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the CSU recently announced an agreement to bring 8 megawatts of renewable solar power generation to 16 CSU locations — another program that involves the Fullerton campus. After the new panels are installed, CSU campuses and the chancellor’s office will generate more than 13 megawatts of clean renewable power onsite.

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