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A big win has recently occurred for the “greenBVSD” initiative which began with the arrival of Sustainability Coordinator Ghita Carroll, Ph.D., nearly two years ago – Verismic power manager software has been installed on all 7,600 desktop computers in the district and will be turned on in phases during the coming months. This new software will “power down” district desktop computers when they are not in use, which will reduce energy use by an estimated 3.9 million kWH/year and will save roughly $300,000/year and 3,670 tons of CO2/year. “Our primary goal with this initiative is to save power when computers aren’t in use,” Carroll said. Until now, district computers have been left on in full power mode 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so that the necessary updates could be made on all of them every night and during the weekends. “For quite a few years we have wanted to power down district computers when they are not in use,” said Jesse McCoppin, desktop engineer for BVSD. “It just wasn’t possible on our old network, when people were on such slow connections, because we needed all of the off hours to get all of the updating completed. Now with our new high speed fiber optic network, all of that updating happens very quickly.” To prepare for this new way of managing the district’s large computer network, McCoppin evaluated Verismic and one competing company, doing trials with both products on hundreds of computers. The power manager software has now been activated at three BVSD schools with few or no problems. In fact, the tier technicians at those schools say it seems as if no one has even noticed the change. Over the next few months, the power manager will be turned on at more and more of BVSD’s 54 schools. Information Technology is deploying this system slowly, in order give them time to fix any problems that might arise. “We are not completely powering the machines off – they go into their standby mode (low energy use),” explained McCoppin. “Turning them completely off would cost us more in the long run because it takes more energy to completely boot a computer up than it does to wake it up from sleeping over night.”
“Of all the great progress we have made toward sustainability in BVSD these past couple of years, this new power management software will go the farthest to reduce energy and provide permanent, ongoing savings. Computer power magagement is a strategy that will help meet the energy reduction goals in our Sustainability Management System, and I'm thrilled we have finally been able to put this much needed change in place,” said Carroll. About GreenBVSD and Earth Day 2010In the past year, BVSD developed a Sustainability Management System (SMS), and has launched several “greenBVSD” initiatives. The SMS defines a vision, goals and strategies for achieving district-wide environmental sustainability, and serves as a roadmap for integrating these concepts into the curriculum and operations. On April 22, 2010, people around the world will be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. For information about BVSD’s green initiatives and events happening for Earth Day and during the month of April please visit http://bvsd.org/green/Pages/default.aspx or contact Ghita.Carroll@bvsd.org. Also, visit Growing Greener Schools (http://www.growinggreenerschools.org/ ), a national initiative broadcasting on PBS this month, which includes a spotlight on BVSD. BVSD is also a contributor to their online magazine, launching on Earth Day.
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