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New York City Goes Green, Needs Investors

To meet its 30 percent reduction goal by 2017, the city must produce 1.68 million fewer metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) annually compared with 2006 levels. City government accounts for approximately 6.5 percent of New York City's total energy usage and 10 percent of its peak electricity demand.
One of the people who worked with New York City on the project was a young Turkish professional, Özgem Örnektekin. Örnektekin says Turkish investors might be interested in capital-building energy retrofit projects as opportunities are large since NYC’s municipal portfolio has over 4000 buildings in five boroughs.  “Another opportunity may be in clean energy production through cogeneration and solar PV projects. According to the plan, the city should generate about fifty megawatts  in multiple new cogeneration plants and two megawatts of electricity from solar PV,” she said.
Özgem Örnektekin has worked for AECOM Energy for over two years as a project manager, primarily in energy conservation and energy master planning projects, as well as sustainable design. TURKOFAMERICA talked to Örnektekin about New York City’s energy plan.

Could you tell us about yourself?
I was born in Istanbul. Due to my father’s work, we moved to Iskenderun when I was 7 and I completed my primary and secondary education there.  Inspired by my mother’s exchange year experience in the US when she was in high school, I become a foreign exchange student in the United States as a senior in high school. Then the University of Denver (DU) gave me a scholarship which convinced me to continue my studies in the US. Once I got my mechanical engineering degree at DU, I moved to the East Coast, as I have always wanted live and work in New York City.  My first job in New York was mainly focused on energy and transportation sectors as a project and design engineer. I most enjoyed sustainable design and energy engineering and decided to take my career path in that direction.  Outside of my profession I keep involved in the community through the Rotary Club of Metro New York City, through club projects and programs. I love the outdoors so I go skiing or play tennis whenever I can.

Which company do you work for and what areas are you focusing on?
I have been working at AECOM Energy for over two years as a project manager, primarily in energy conservation and energy master planning projects, as well as sustainable design.  Before joining my current employer, I worked for a global infrastructure company for about five and half years.  As a professional interest, I contribute to USGBC’s Indoor Air Quality Technical Advisory Group and ASHRAE’s Thermal Comfort Standard 55.

These days, my focus is on energy planning and carbon management.  In the age of climate change due to staggering greenhouse gas emissions, my profession has become more relevant than ever.  As a world community not do only we have a huge responsibility for future generations to find clean and alternative energy sources but also to use our current energy resources most effectively and plan strategically to curb the global warming trend.