NEWS IN THE WORLD OF POWER AND INTEGRATED BUILDING SYSTEMS
ONCE A CRUMBLING URBAN AREA devoid of the
manufacturing that had kept it alive for decades, Buffalo, N. Y.,
has staged a remarkable comeback over the last 10 years.
“I’ve lived here 37 years, and never have I seen it like it is
now, with new hotels, a sports complex and more,” said Kevin
Mislin, vice president, Ferguson Electric Construction Co. Inc.
A number of strategies led to the resurgence. One of these
involved targeting specific sectors with growth potential,
For the latter, the city focused on the Buffalo Medical
Corridor, a section of the city that has been booming in
recent years with new facilities being built and expansions
and remodels to existing facilities. These include Buffalo
General Hospital, the 500,000-square-foot Gates Vascular
Institute, the Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo, a
new 300,000-square-foot medical office building, the new
628,000-square-foot University of Buffalo School of Medicine
(which relocated to the Medical Corridor from another part of
the city), the expansion of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute,
and a new complex of laboratories.
New housing facilities, including a hotel, are being built for
patients and families from out of town that need places to stay
while receiving treatment.
“We have been involved with many of the projects,” Mislin
said. “We did all types of electrical work on these projects—
all the way from high-voltage substations and emergency
generation to low-voltage data cabling, communications wiring,
security and fire alarms—all the way from 23,000 volts down to
24 volts. We will do similar work for the new boutique hotel.”
“At one point, during the peak about a year and a half ago,
there were almost 250 traveling electricians working on various
projects in the city, a lot of which involved projects in the
medical corridor. All of these workers are from other IBEW
locals, so they have been vetted and trained, meaning that they
are all qualified,” Mislin said.
There are still new projects being developed in and around
the medical corridor.
“It is simmered down a bit from a year and a half ago, but
work is still steady, and there are a lot of good opportunities still
coming in the future,” Mislin said.
EC Helps Revitalize Buffalo’s Medical Corridor
Supply of Renewables May Exceed Demand in Massachusetts
RENEWABLE POWER still requires
government support to challenge fossil
fuels. Policies can help lower prices,
increase supply and
generate more demand.
been successful at
increasing the quantity of
clean power generation.
However, the government
also needs to address
demand for it.
According to a May
study by Synapse Energy
Economics and Sustainable
Energy Advantage for the Northeast
Clean Energy Council and the Mass
Energy Consumers Alliance, “An Analysis
of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy
Portfolio Standard” uses modeling to
examine the potential effect on capacity
and pricing of various changes to the
standard in the future. The state’s
Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard
(RPS) has been an
important tool in its
push toward a cleaner
energy mix. However,
with new goals in
place for greenhouse
gas emissions, the
study states the
standard needs to be
requires energy suppliers to provide at
least 11 percent of customers’ power from
renewable sources. That must increase by 1
percent per year until it reaches 25 percent
in 2030. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts
Global Warming Solutions Act requires the
state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
by 80 percent by the year 2050. To fulfill
this requirement, the state will need to
ramp up its RPS.
Currently, the state’s policies,
including long-term contracting
requirements, are doing an adequate job
of creating a healthy supply of renewable
power. That supply will exceed demand
unless the rules are adjusted.
This imbalance could affect the prices
of renewable energy credits, which
are an important element in the state’s
renewable-energy market. This drop in
prices could undermine the state’s efforts.
The study recommends that
policymakers in Massachusetts increase
the annual RPS targets from 1 percent to
2 percent to bolster demand and keep the
market in balance.