The Seward Park Steam Conversion project, located at the Seward Park Housing Corporation in Manhattan's Lower East Side, is a newly installed central steam system that replaced an on-site heating system burning heavy fuel oil. The steam conversion unit has resulted in significant improvements in local air quality and energy efficiency. Seward Park is a four building, 1,728 unit residential apartment complex.
Utilizing an underground, state-of-the-art steam metering station, the project will annually displace approximately 40 percent of the output of four commercial, residual oil burning boilers in lower Manhattan by converting Seward Park's demand to the Con Edison steam system. The conversion was completed in November, 2002 in time for the 2002 - 2003 winter heating season.
Along with the migration to a co-generated steam system, Seward Park performed an energy efficiency audit and implemented recommended energy efficiency measures with lead consultant Loring Associates. The audit, supported by a grant from the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), identified a series of short, medium and long-term energy efficiency measures for Seward Park.
Supplementing the change to the steam metering station, Seward Park Housing Cooperative committed to a host of energy efficiency control measures that reduce total energy demand while yielding a reasonable return on investment. These measures were incorporated into a Memorandum of Understanding between Seward Park Housing Corporation and the CAC project partners. In addition, Con Edison, in conjunction with the partners to the project, will develop and implement a community outreach program to community groups, schools, and religious institutions to educate groups about the project.
The new steam metering station displaces an estimated one million gallons of heavy fuel oil from four local residual fuel oil burning boilers in Lower Manhattan with a centralized system that uses 50% natural gas in a significantly more efficient manner through the co-generation of electricity and steam. In addition, the new system reduces fuel delivery truck traffic, and associated diesel truck idling in the community. This conversion, together with Seward Parks' energy efficiency initiatives, will eliminate 29.8 tons of sulfur dioxide, 23.1 tons of nitrogen oxide, 2.7 tons of carbon monoxide, 3.3 tons of particulate matter, and 13, 521 tons of carbon dioxide annually in the lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan.
The steam conversion project reduces energy consumption primarily through the installation of a series of system controls coupled with a state-of-the-art metering station. Examples of such measures include the installation of networked controls and central monitoring, recycling of steam condensation, and more effective shut-off valves, traps, and heat recovery hardware. Together, these systems monitor and control steam usage on a nearly real-time basis -- allowing energy efficient demand management for the buildings. The new system, which is located in an unobtrusive, subterranean vault, provides a seamless integration from Seward Park's existing steam lines to Con Edison's central steam network.
Clean Air Communities (CAC) -- a collaborative of Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC), Con Edison, and Northeast States Center for a Clean Air Future (NESCCAF) is the project's sponsor. Project partners include:
- Seward Park Community Organization
- Vision Urbana, Inc.
- Primitive Christian Church
- South Manhattan Development Corporation
- The Educational Alliance
- Beth Abraham Health Services: CCM Program
- Con Edison Steam Business Unit
- Seward Park Housing Cooperative