Proctors’ power facility is unique in U.S.
Theatre plant heats and cools over 1 million square feet in downtown Schenectady while reducing carbon footprint
Proctors is the only performing arts center in the United States that heats and cools not only itself, but a major swath of the community it serves.
Marquee Power, launched in 2005 and located on the Proctors campus in Schenectady, is operated similarly to a co-op, with customers sharing maintenance costs while paying only for the heating/cooling energy they actually use. The plant—built on the belief that “we are only as strong as our neighbors”—serves the entire Center City complex, Transfinder corporate headquarters, the Hampton Inn and Proctors—comprising over 25 businesses and organizations and over one million square feet of downtown Schenectady.
Marquee Power, which is not a utility and does not sell electricity, directly impacts over 700,000 people each year, and in 2013, it reduced the carbon footprint in downtown Schenectady by over 500 metric tons of CO2/year. A 2014 expansion project, funded in part by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, included more efficient boilers and the connection of five additional buildings to the system, reducing that footprint further, by 900 metric tons of CO2/year.
NYSERDA selected Marquee Power as a model project because it combines multiple benchmarks and goals—reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, increased community resilience, energy efficiency, job growth and economic development.
A planned 2017 conversion from steam to hot water as a primary source will further increase efficiency, with an even greater capability to, paradoxically, use waste heat for cooling.
District energy drastically reduces the total cost for heating and cooling by avoiding the need to purchase, replace or maintain individual systems for each building. By eliminating millions of dollars from the cost of constructing or redeveloping adjacent properties, Marquee Power has been essential to downtown revitalization.