Gov. Steve Bullock today highlighted the tax dollars the State of Montana has saved through energy innovations at the state Data Center in Helena to mark the conclusion of Earth Week, and announced a new strategy to further increase energy efficiency throughout state government facilities.
The Governor was joined by NorthWestern Energy President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Rowe, who acknowledged energy efficiency incentive payments to the State that total $675,000 for efforts associated with the Data Center.
"Improving efficiencies throughout state government is one of my top priorities, and that includes using our energy resources responsibly," said Gov. Bullock.
The new State Data Center makes use of an innovative renewable technology, the Kyoto Wheel heat transfer system, that cools the equipment with ambient outside air. That technology and other energy efficiency measures even allow the Data Center to contribute heat to a nearby Department of Transportation shop building.
"While we're proud of what we've accomplished through energy efficiency at this facility, we can do even more to save tax dollars and conserve our resources," added Bullock. "Montana taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent and how the state's energy is being used."
The Governor called on cabinet agencies to begin publicly disclosing energy usage. That effort will start by documenting comparative energy performance in state buildings through "benchmarking." A few state buildings will be profiled at first on a new website, with the goal of posting more energy-use scores over coming months.
The website will eventually list state buildings of 5,000 square-feet and larger, scoring their energy performance using the nationally recognized Energy Star rating sy
"We are happy to be part of the remarkable energy savings at the Montana Data Center Project," said Bob Rowe, President and CEO of NorthWestern Energy. "We recognize that helping our customers save money by reducing
NorthWestern's E+ incentive payments for the Data Center have been used to finance the Kyoto Wheel technology. A part of these funds were also distributed among state agencies that relocated to the state-of-the-art State Data Center. Another portion of the funds was used to purchase efficient new servers in use at the Data Center.
The Data Center project is part of the State Buildings Energy Conservation Program, administered by the Department of Environmental Quality, and which is credited for reducing energy bills for state agencies by $1.8 million annually since 2007. The savings are continually revolved into new energy efficiency upgrades.