Rector of the Bucharest Polytechnic University (UPB) Mihnea Costoiu and U.S. Ambassador in Bucharest Hans Klemm signed on Wednesday an agreement under which the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) provides the higher education institution a grant for feasibility studies intended to assess the technical, economic and financial viability of the implementation of an intelligent micro-network project in the university campus.
The total value of the study is 506,516 US dollars, of which 125,854 dollars provided by the consulting firm that conducts the research, the Maryland-based E3 International.
“We, at university level, want to have the first green smart campus in this part of Europe. (…) Last year, the U.S. Trade Agency created this project dedicated to the entire campus, aimed primarily at reducing energy consumption and the dioxide carbon footprint. (…) We want this campus to become a laboratory for Romania, one where we all learn what green energy means, where we can explain the processes, that we are able to replicate this laboratory in other cities. What we want now is for the entire campus to have low energy consumption, produce green energy, have smart buildings helping reduce energy consumption and last but not least, we want all this to be done by students to the benefit of society,” said the UPB rector on the occasion of agreement’s signing.
He explained that each building in the UPB campus will be controlled automatically, so that each type of consumption be known at any moment.
“The deadline for the feasibility study is the end of this year. The project spans one year and a half, but we hope to have a first draft of the feasibility study and of the main design elements at the end of this year. We expect the first stage to be completed around 2020,” Costoiu explained.
U.S. Ambassador Hans Klemm (photo) said that negotiations over the grant had been concluded at the end of 2015.
The aim is to complete the feasibility study that will allow UPB to run a smart network, a technology covering the entire campus and achieve energy efficiency that will allow the university to contribute to technological development not just by training engineers for Romania’s future development, but by setting a landmark for excellence in engineering for Romania and for Europe. The United States offer this grant and participate in this project because the U.S. want a strong prosperous and democratic Romania. (…) The purpose of the U.S. and the reason why we award this grant is that in time we hope to have a flow of goods and services in the energy sector to contribute to Romania’s technological development, said the U.S. diplomat.
Deputy PM Costin Borc said that he is interested in the idea of an intelligent city. “I have completed energy studies, I was the manager of a building company and I know about the involvement of the IT and transport in the generation and distribution of electricity, but also in what environmental, energy efficiency aspects are concerned. We are at the border of these developments. I am glad that UPB and Bucharest pioneer this research.”
The smart campus project will use technologies such as gas engines, energy efficient lighting, systems for the management of distribution and interruptions, advanced metering, roof photovoltaic systems and battery thermal energy storage.
Attending the ceremony were Minister of Education Adrian Curaj and president of the National Council of Rectors Sorin Cimpeanu.