Utility Master Plan

Shippensburg University Shippensburg, PA



Shippensburg University (Shippensburg) had seen many changes in their campus footprint over the years, and needed to understand the current condition and capacity of their campus electric, heating, and cooling utilities in order to make informed decisions in planning for their campus’ future. We provided utility master planning services, assessing their campus utility systems, operations, and projected future demands, to provide Shippensburg with recommendations and options for each system that maximized their utilities efficiency, so they could make confident utility decisions for the future.

Solution Details

Shippensburg had 50% of buildings air-conditioned and expected that percentage to increase to near 90%. Cooling was provided by distributed chillers. It was calculated that an additional 3,750 tons of cooling capacity would be needed in the next 5 years and an additional 1,250 in the 20 year period after that, totaling 5,000 tons.

Heating for Shippensburg was provided by a central coal plant and underground steam distribution system. The coal plant was 60 years old and in need of repair and upgrades, and the steam distribution system was mostly of similar age and in poor condition, requiring much maintenance by Shippensburg staff.

Three cooling options were analyzed, providing quantitative construction, operating, and environmental estimated costs/impacts and also qualitative concerns, such as aesthetics. After careful consideration, a new central utility plant site was recommended that would house both a central chilled water plant and natural gas central plant, and associated chilled and hot water distribution systems. Both cooling and heating options provided the lowest construction and operating costs. Furthermore, carbon emissions from the central plants would see an estimated 68.5% reduction and free them from increasing environmental regulations on coal burning plants. Lastly, relocating the heat plant and creating a central chiller plant afforded Shippensburg the ability to remove the existing coal plant and coal storage from a main campus entranceway route, to a more aesthetically and schematically appropriate space.

Shippensburg’s electrical distribution and service was in need of increased reliability throughout the campus through the addition of a second power feed. Three options were also proposed here. Ultimately, it was recommended that Shippensburg utilize radio controlled switches on existing feeder poles, since the construction costs were the lowest and the equipment maintenance and liability would remain with their power utility provider. We also recommended replacing the campus’ two transformers to the next standard size of 7,500/9,975kVA to carry the future loads of the campus once the new buildings and utility plants are operational. Lastly, emergency power recommendations were given that identified key buildings and services that should have emergency power, as well as a campus mustering point in case of emergency, that could house students and faculty with light, heat, cooling, telecom, and food/drink storage.

With the utility master plan complete, Shippensburg had a complete non-biased view of their current campus utilities, future campus demands, and options and costs to ensure their utilities have proper capacity, reliability, and efficiency for the next decades of growth, and changes for the campus.

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5,000 additional tons of cooling capacity needed

68.5% projected carbon emissions reduction