National Grid Helps Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center Go Green, with Largest Natural Gas Conversion in a Decade

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National Grid committed to helping customers save energy, money and the environment; Long Island's Northport Veterans Affairs Medical Center will save more than $1 million annually.

National Grid helped the Veterans Affairs Medical Center (VAMC) in Northport go green by completing the largest heating oil to natural gas service conversion -- the largest such conversion on Long Island in over a decade.
National Grid assembled a project team of internal and external professionals and provided the VA with an end-to-end solution to provide gas service as well as upgrade the existing heating plant, which is yielding substantial environmental and economic benefits and is consistent with National Grid’s commitment to help customers reduce energy use, save money and help protect the environment.

National Grid’s gas conversion project supports new guidelines requiring all federal buildings to meet more stringent environmental and energy efficiency standards, and reduce emissions and is consistent with the federal plan recently announced sweeping energy and climate agenda to cut carbon pollution and accelerate clean energy use. The project has resulted in carbon savings in excess of 5,000 tons year or 30 percent.

“National Grid has long supported Long Island efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and we are proud to transition the VAMC to a much cleaner, more reliable, and less expensive energy source,” said Ken Daly, President of National Grid New York. “Across Long Island, our customers are recognizing the economic and environmental benefits of switching from heavy fuel oils to natural gas.”

Rep. Steve Israel supported the project. “This energy conversion from heating oil to natural gas is an example of an innovative, money-saving and common-sense solution that will benefit both our local veterans and our environment,” said Israel. “I am proud to have been a part of the process in cutting through the red tape to help this become a reality.”

Additionally, the transition includes four new state-of-the art COEN Todd Variflame high-efficiency dual-fuel natural gas burners – with low NOX emissions and a high combustion efficiency, exceeding 90% - that reduces heating bills and significantly reduces carbon dioxide emissions. The project also included a new automatic feedwater control system and energy savings new variable frequency drives on the combustion air fans.

“This project represents an environmentally sound, energy saving and cost-effective endeavor essential to the VAMC’s energy program goals and our overarching mission to continually improve the quality of service to our nation’s veterans,” said Louis Errichiello, P.E., the Northport VA’s Energy Manager. “This project allows the VA to apply that savings to other important services to support our veterans.”

The project is another example of National Grid’s staunch commitment towards Energy 2030, a comprehensive plan that established the framework to double the nation's energy productivity by 2030.

Adrienne Esposito, executive director of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said, “Cleaner air, cleaner water, good economic sense, and helping more money go to help veterans all add up to a great project. Making the smart conversion to natural gas reduces harmful greenhouses such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions, which means cleaner air for the community to breathe and less nitrogen deposition into the Long Island Sound since Atmospheric deposition is the second largest source of nitrogen in Sound. It’s a triple win.”

National Grid began preparing for the conversion of the boiler plant at the 268-acre VAMC a decade ago, and worked with the VAMC, the Town of Huntington and Genesys Engineering PC to implement this large and complex project. The project included installing a 9,000-foot-long gas main to the neighborhood, increasing the opportunity for nearby facilities to connect.

The VAMC includes a 121-bed hospital, 134-bed Community Living Center, 38-bed domiciliary, and 293-bed Medical Center, and last year treated 34,273 veterans and performed 392,635 outpatient visits.

Natural gas remains the best heating source for Long Island residents because of its convenience, comfort, and comparable environmental benefits. Natural gas burns clean and can increase energy efficiency by up to 30 percent compared to other heating sources. A typical National Grid customer in the northeast United States who converts from heating oil to natural gas saves enough CO2 in one year to equate to about 15 cars being taken off the road for a year.

The new main and energy efficiency equipment, in fact, displaces more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel oil – enough to fill 200 oil tankers that previously would have driven through nearby neighborhoods to reach the VAMC – and saves more than $1 million in fuel costs.

Besides energy efficiency savings, the conversion eliminates significant amounts of carbon emissions annually, allowing the facility to meet much of its Greenhouse Gas Reduction program goals. The project also enables the VAMC to reduce its on-site fuel oil inventory, reducing potential environmental liabilities associated with the transport and storage of fuel oil.

About National Grid

National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’.
In the northeast US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles. In Great Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.

National Grid delivers electricity to approximately 3.3 million customers in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island. It manages the electricity network on Long Island under an agreement with the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), and owns over 4,000 megawatts of contracted electricity generation, providing power to over one million LIPA customers. It is the largest distributor of natural gas in northeastern U.S., serving approximately 3.4 million customers in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

About the VAMC

Northport VA Medical Center is a tertiary care level 1, Joint Commission accredited facility serving veterans in Nassau and Suffolk County, NY. The VA Medical Center is located in Northport, NY with outpatient clinics in: East Meadow, Patchogue, Riverhead, Bay Shore and Valley Stream, NY.

Northport provides a wide range of services including traditional hospital-based services such as surgery, critical care, mental health, orthopedics, pharmacy, radiology and physical therapy. In addition, the center offers additional medical and surgical specialty services including audiology and speech pathology, dermatology, dental, geriatrics, neurology, oncology, podiatry, prosthetics, urology, and vision care. The Medical Center also special programs for women veterans, veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and those who are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless.

Northport honors America's veterans by providing exceptional health care that improves their health and well-being. This care is delivered by engaged, collaborative teams in an integrated environment that supports learning, discovery and continuous improvement. It also emphasizes health promotion and disease prevention and contributes to the nation's well-being through education, research and service during local and national emergencies.

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Christine Milligan
National Grid
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Wendy Ladd
National Grid
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