A study conducted at Peoples Natural Gas Field has identified ways the Altoona Curve can save on energy costs.
"They could save 20 percent of their total energy cost per year," John Werling, president of Pittsburgh-based eCap, a nonprofit energy conservation organization. "We recommend that they should invest in some smart metering and interval metering so they can understand their usage, how much they use per game."
Peoples enlisted eCap to conduct a study to see if it would make sense for the ballpark, Lakemont Park, Galactic Ice, Lakemont Park Village and The Casino at Lakemont Park to share energy.
Peoples Natural Gas had expressed an interest in exploring the opportunity to install a combined heat and power (CHP) system. Using a microturbine, CHP systems generate both electricity and thermal energy for heating and cooling from natural gas.
After completion of the first phase of the study at the ballpark, Werling said the stadium alone does not have the steady demand to take advantage of CHP technology.
However, the study identified ways for the Curve to save energy through energy measuring, monitoring and control. Improvements to outdoor site and parking lighting also would be beneficial.
The Curve is pleased with the recommendations, said General Manager Rob Egan.
"We are encouraged that there are some things we can do in the short term and that the CHP could still happen. They showed us a few ways to do things such as changing the TVs we have to more energy-saving models," Egan said. "We are considering all options to make us more energy conscious and environmentally friendly."
Werling said eCap hopes to move forward with the study at the other businesses.
"For a facility or group of facilities with the right type of energy demand to take advantage of both forms of energy, CHP can be significantly cheaper and more environmentally friendly than grid electricity," Werling said. "We hope to investigate a system that may serve multiple facilities across the campus."
Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.