The Virginia Tech community reduced power consumption by 28 percent during the power down event held on the Blacksburg campus June 25.

Preliminary results indicate the university reduced its campus electrical demand to an average 19,000 kilowatts for the hour. The goal was 21,000 kilowatts for the hour.

The annual power down event demonstrates the university’s ability to reduce energy consumption in the event of an electrical grid emergency.

As a large consumer of electricity, Virginia Tech has voluntarily committed to reducing our electrical load in the event of an electrical grid emergency condition.

Such commitments by large electricity consumers help electrical utility companies to meet the peak demand that typically occurs during hot, humid summer afternoons and early evenings. As part of the commitment, the university must successfully demonstrate, for one hour, our ability to meet the reduced energy consumption goal

“We achieved our goal by reducing air conditioning in non-critical areas, turning off lighting, and turning off or unplugging equipment such as computers, appliances, and other electronics during the hour. In addition, we were able to increase the electricity generated by the campus power plant, which helped reduce our need from the national electrical grid,” said Ruben Avagyan, campus energy manager.

The successful demonstration sets the stage for the rest of the 2015 peak demand season. The university remains on load reduction standby each Monday through Friday from noon to 8 p.m. through the end of September and must reduce its power usage in the event of an actual grid emergency.

In 2012 and 2013, the university reduced its electrical demand in response to actual grid emergency events.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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