U Utah To Source Half Its Electricity Needs From Renewables

A new university agreement will provide 20 megawatts of geothermal energy and 10 megawatts of solar energy to the university for the next 25 years, which is estimated to reduce the University of Utah's total carbon emissions by 25 percent.

Michigan State U to Test Algae-Based Carbon Capture on Power Plant

With the support of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, university researchers will test a novel technique for capturing power plant emissions while producing high-value chemicals and biofuels with algae. The test will take place at the T.B. Simon Power Plant on MSU’s campus.

College of the Desert Deploys Mobile Renewable Energy Unit

The unit is designed to generate, store and distribute power to critical operations. It will be used in sustainability education programs and as a recruiting tool with prospective students.

Florida State U Enters Into Energy Conservation Contract

The university is partnering with Cenergistic LLC to create a five-year energy conservation program that is projected to save the university $12 million in energy costs. As part of the agreement, Cenergistic will hire at least four university student interns each summer.

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Begins Construction on 4.5MW Solar Farm

The 18.5-acre solar farm is expected to generate about a quarter of Cal Poly’s total power needs. It is being installed under a power purchase agreement with REC Solar, which will also provide funds for student and faculty involvement, help develop curriculum around the solar panels, and collaborate on applied research. Construction is expected to finish in late December.

U Arkansas Pine Bluff Completes 321KW Solar Installation

The 321 kilowatt solar park is the largest public solar installation in Arkansas and is part of a $19.3 million energy performance contract that is expected to reduce the university’s energy consumption by 32 percent.

U Maryland Center for Environmental Science Breaks Ground on 2MW Photovoltaic Array

The two-megawatt solar array, expected to go live in spring 2018, will power approximately 50 percent of the university's Horn Point Laboratory campus. A third party will install and operate the solar panels and sell the energy they generate to the University under a 20 year Power Purchase Agreement..

Yale U Implements Carbon Charge for Buildings & Departments

After three years of study, discussion and experimentation, the university has implemented a carbon charge that affects more than 250 buildings and nearly 70 percent of campus carbon dioxide emissions. A university carbon charge pilot program ran from December 2015 to May 2016 in 20 buildings and tested four approaches to reducing carbon.

Georgetown U to Install 32.5MW of Solar Energy

The university recently signed a power purchase agreement to develop a 32.5-megawatt photovoltaic project in La Plata, Maryland. The project is expected to supply about 49 percent of Georgetown’s electricity load annually for its Washington, D.C., campus. The power plant is expected to be completed in summer 2019.

Monroe County CC Cuts Ribbon on Geothermal System

The $16.1 million ground source heating and cooling system is comprised of 288 wells that are 350-400 feet deep. The community college will save an estimated $275,000 per year over the next 20 years.

U California Davis Pilots Energy Saving Technology to Keep Cows Cool

In an effort to demonstrate an effective alternative to cooling cows that consumes less energy and water, the university's new pilot program uses chilled water and air cooling. The project is part of a four-year, $1 million grant from the California Energy Commission to help improve water and energy efficiency in California’s dairy industry.

U California Merced Launches Sustainable Careers Initiative

The university's sustainability office launched an internship program earlier this year that gives students applied learning and internship opportunities in sustainability-related careers.

Harvard U Renovations Achieve LEED Gold Certification

Harvard’s historic Memorial Church includes access to natural light, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems, LEDs, occupancy sensors, low-flow water fixtures and Energy Star rated appliances.

American U Receives Energy Star Certification

By managing the energy related practices of its College of Arts and Sciences building, the university was awarded with its first U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star certification. The EPA’s Energy Star certification recognizes buildings that have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by using more energy-efficient products and implementing energy savings practices.

Harvard U & U California San Diego Win 2017 Freezer Challenge

The University of California San Diego was identified as the organizational winner by saving an estimated 500,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Harvard University's Hoekstra Lab was the individual laboratory winner, saving an estimated 13,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Individual labs at the University of Alberta and the University of California San Diego received honorable mention. The Freezer Challenge encourages researchers to implement sustainable practices around cold storage management. Labs received points for taking actions such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators, discarding old samples and retiring unneeded units.

Pomona College Releases 2030 Carbon Neutrality Plan

The college's new plan, known as SAVE: Sustainable Action Visible Effects, strives for carbon neutrality by 2030 through energy, water, waste, transportation, buildings, and landscaping and food initiatives. The college intends to reach net-zero carbon emissions without purchasing carbon credits, but rather by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to zero and then offsetting remaining emissions by retrofitting buildings, installing solar panels, investing in off-site renewables and promoting alternative transportation programs. The plan was crafted by the Office of Sustainability and the President's Advisory Committee on Sustainability.

Bucknell U Earns 'Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal' Certification

The recent Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) certification, administered by the Green Business Certification, Inc., recognizes the university for reliable delivery of electricity, reducing the environmental impact of electricity generation, leveraging value gap analysis to identify and eliminate waste, and assessing customer contribution to grid service, investment and innovation. PEER is a framework for continuous energy improvement and performance assessment that leads to greater efficiency, reduction in carbon emissions and greater power quality.

U Florida Receives LEED Gold on Building Renovation

The newly renovated building designed for study and collaboration space includes systems for reusing wastewater, and use of regional and recycled materials. No additional parking spaces were added for the building during renovation.

Four Virginia Schools Partner on 1.9MW of Solar Power

Lynchburg College, Randolph-Macon College, Virginia Union University, and Washington and Lee University have signed agreements with SolarCity for solar projects totaling 1.9 megawatts. The majority of the capacity, 1.3 megawatts, will be installed at Lynchburg College. The agreements are an extension of a collaboration between the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) and the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative, which recently announced more than $807,000 for 16 CICV member colleges to implement solar power on their campuses.

College Marin Switches to 100% Renewable Energy

As of mid-August, all electricity accounts at the college were switched to a 100 percent renewable energy program through a California not-for-profit, public electricity provider. Now the college’s power bills will reflect zero emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity.

Binghamton U Opens Sustainable Building

Features of the new building, which house the departments of chemistry and physics, include photovoltaic panels on the roof to produce electricity, hydronic radiant heating in the floor, controlled LED lighting, individual space monitoring to reduce air flows and energy use, and water-cooled equipment wherever possible to conserve energy.

U Brighton Completes 150KW Photovoltaic Array

(U.K.) Two systems with a combined capacity of just under 150 kilowatts have now been installed at no cost to the university. A third party energy cooperative is leasing university roof space for 20 years. The university will pay the cooperative for the electricity generated by the panels, which will cost approximately one third less than grid electricity. At the end of the lease, the university will take ownership of the panels at no cost and will benefit from the free electricity they generate.

Simon Fraser U Earns LEED Gold on Chemistry Building Renovation

The recently renovated building has new systems for water efficiency, optimized energy performance and waste management. Other achievements during the renovation included diverting at least 75 percent of construction waste from the landfill and installing new laboratory fume hoods that exhaust 50 percent less air when users close the sash.

Harvard U Achieves LEED Gold on Renovation

The housing renovation aimed to deliver a healthier interior for residents. The project team worked with manufacturers to ensure selected flooring material was produced without any added antimicrobials and all furniture and furnishings are free of chemical flame retardants. Wellness efforts focused on controlling noise pollution and enhancing access to natural light. Energy conservation measures implemented in the renovation include high-performing LEDs, high-efficiency washer and dryers, and natural ventilation strategies.

NY Announces $3 Million Clean Energy Competition for Colleges & Universities

New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently launched Energy to Lead 2017, a $3 million challenge to New York colleges and universities to implement clean energy solutions that aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy bills and improve resiliency. Open to two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities, funding awards will range from $250,000 to $1 million per project.

U Nebraska Kearney to Invest $11M in Solar Energy

The university is expected to meet 25 percent of its electrical energy through a new $11 million, 25-year contract for solar energy from a nearby 5.8-megawatt array that is expected to be completed in February 2018. The university anticipates saving more than $250,000 over the next 25 years of the contract.

Virginia Private Colleges Receive Solar Energy Funding

The Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV) has been awarded more than $807,000 in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to help 16 member colleges develop comprehensive plans for implementing solar power on their campuses. The three-year program is designed to help the colleges navigate the legal, regulatory and technical challenges associated with installing solar systems, leverage group purchasing power, and create a learning network accessible by other organizations considering solar power.

APPA Sustainability Awards Given to Five Schools

APPA, previously known as the Association of Physical Plant Administrators, honored the following schools with its 2017 Sustainability Award: Arizona State University, The Ohio State University, San Mateo County Community College District, University of British Columbia, and University of Washington Bothell. The Sustainability Award is designed to recognize and advance sustainability in educational facilities.

Florida State U Alumni Donate Solar Array

The newly completed installation, comprised of 12 panels near the Seminole Organic Garden, was donated and installed by three alumni, each with roles in the sustainable energy sector.

Red Deer College Breaks Ground on Alternative Energy Lab

When completed in 2018, the lab will be utilized for teaching, demonstration and applied research related to alternative energy opportunities. The space will also engage and support regional businesses wanting to explore alternative energy production options. The new lab is one of three key components of RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative, which promotes environmental stewardship through the application of sustainable and energy efficient technologies.

Flinders U to Introduce Driverless Electric Bus

(Australia) The new autonomous, solar-powered bus will be used at the university's Tonsley campus. A 320,000 Australian dollar ($253,000) solar garage will be built, capable of recharging about six electric vehicles at once, including the new autonomous bus. The university won AU$1 million in state government funding to trial the autonomous bus technology, and will also use another AU$3 million from other investors to run the project over the next five years.

U California San Diego Wins Freezer Challenge

Over 200 labs representing 34 organizations across North America competed in the Freezer Challenge, which encouraged researchers to implement best practices in cold storage management. Labs received points for taking actions, such as properly maintaining freezers and refrigerators and discarding old samples. UC San Diego saved an estimated 500,000 kilowatt-hours per year. Honorable mention goes to the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Virginia. An individual lab at Harvard University won top honors by saving an estimated 13,000 kilowatt-hours per year.

Northwest Missouri State U and SUNY Oswego Win Sustainability Awards from AASCU

Northwest Missouri State University and the State University of New York Oswego won the American Association of State Colleges and Universities' (AASCU) Sustainability and Sustainable Development Award. The program honors member institutions for excellence and innovation in sustainability. Northwest Missouri State was cited for its Comprehensive Sustainability System, which has produced $15.4 million in energy savings, and SUNY Oswego's BikeShare and BusShare projects were highlighted.

Luzerne County CC Enters $8M Energy Performance Savings Contract

The community college recently contracted with Ameresco to renew and upgrade its campus energy infrastructure and to institute energy efficiency measures. The nearly $8 million project is expected to save the college more than $576,000 annually in energy costs and operation and maintenance savings for the next 15 years. In addition, the college will earn $122,757 in energy rebates and incentives.

MIT Prepares to Upgrade Cogeneration Plant

The upgrade project will soon replace an aging 22 megawatt turbine with a new one and install a second 22 megawatt gas turbine. Each will be equipped with a heat recovery steam generator. In addition, the upgrade includes changing fuel use scenarios for five existing boilers to eliminate the use of No. 6 fuel oil on campus and equip them to use cleaner fuels. The plant will switch to using natural gas for all normal operations, relegating fuel oil to backup emergency use only. Both new turbines are projected to be in service by 2020.

U Alberta Augustana Installs Solar Array

The university completed the second stage of a solar roof project. The new array is comprised of 469 panels with a capacity of 130 kilowatts.

Oakton CC Installs 25KW Solar Array

The roof-mounted photovoltaic system on the college's Skokie campus consists of approximately 80 solar panels. The Skokie campus is also home to a test system that is accessible for enrolled students and provides them with hands-on experience working with solar panels.

U Northampton Opens Biomass Energy Facility

(U.K.) The 6.5 million British pound ($8.4 million) facility uses woodchip biomass and gas to provide hot water and heating to buildings around the university's Waterside campus via a 1.6-kilometer district heating network.

Monroe CC Installs Green Roofs

The 22,000 square feet of newly installed green roof on the college's Downtown Campus is capable of capturing 13,000 gallons of rainwater during a single rain event. It will also decrease the urban heat island effect and reduce electricity usage needed to cool and heat the campus.

Eastern Kentucky U Creates Scholarship With Solar Savings

The Photons for the Future scholarship program uses the monetary savings generated by 25 solar panels on campus to provide $1,000 scholarships to students pursuing degrees in scientific fields. A donation helped pay for the solar panels and provide scholarship seed funding.

Santa Fe CC Receives $351K for Building Energy Automation & Microgrid Training Center

Awarded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration, the funding will support the purchase of critical equipment for the Building Energy Automation and Microgrid Training Center, which provides specialized hands-on training in the fields of building automation and microgrid energy distribution systems. The college is leveraging an additional $326,000 in state appropriations and $111,661 in donated equipment and engineering expertise from industry partners to support the project.

Queen's University Receives $11M for Renewable Energy Research

(Ireland) The $10.9 million (9.3 million euros) funding will be used to create a "virtual center of competence" to support research into bio-energy and marine-based renewable energy sources. Working with a number of cross-border partners including the Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Ulster University, and University of Highlands and Islands, the center will research wave and tidal power, ocean power, and energy produced through anaerobic digestion of food waste.

U Washington Utility Plant Receives Gold Designation From ISI

The new West Campus Utility Plant has received an Envision Gold award from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI). The ISI Envision system measures sustainable infrastructure in five categories: quality of life, leadership, natural world, resource allocation, and climate and risk. Sustainable elements of the plant include natural rain gardens and enhanced pedestrian infrastructure, measures to prevent pollutants from contaminating surface and groundwater, and increased energy efficiency.

Thompson Rivers U Installs Sidewalk Made of Solar Panels

A professor from the university's Geography and Environmental Studies department and students helped install photovoltaic panels on a sidewalk in July. The solar sidewalk project is meant to demonstrate the role sidewalks and other everyday structures can play in generating energy.

George Brown College to Erect a 12-Story Carbon Neutral Building

The planned structure is designed to be a carbon-neutral, tall building made from wood that produces the same amount of energy or more than it uses. The college plans to create a Tall Wood Research Institute to share their experiences, ideas and research in low-carbon, mass timber construction.

Northwestern U Upgrades Lab Ventilation Systems

In an effort to conserve energy and maintain healthy, safe and comfortable labs, eight buildings now have an air quality monitoring system that saves energy by ensuring that lab ventilation systems run only as much as needed to maintain healthy air quality. Research and testing in one of the campus' buildings revealed that, with the new system, the number of air exchanges per hour could be reduced from nine to four, resulting in a cost savings of $117,000 per year.

Saint Mary's College California Utilizes Solar Trailers

The college now has six mobile solar generators that contribute to exterior lighting and electric vehicle charging. At no cost to the college, each solar generator consists of two solar panels, a backup biodiesel generator and battery storage.

U Notre Dame Connects 145KW Solar Array to Grid

A new 144.72 kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic array is expected to generate approximately 194,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This would offset nearly one-third of the total electricity used by the 5.77 acre warehouse to which it is connected.

Western Michigan U Receives LEED Gold for Residence Halls

The Western Heights housing complex includes energy-efficient HVAC and other mechanical systems, occupancy sensors for common areas and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Amenities within the new halls are strategically located in communal spaces to encourage students to have more interpersonal interactions with their peers.

U California San Diego Tests Vehicle-to-Grid Charging Platforms

A San Diego-based company will use the university to pilot its new vehicle-to-grid technology, which allows a parked electric vehicle to become part of the electric grid by enabling charging from and discharging to the grid. Drivers will be paid for energy discharged from their car while still being guaranteed the expected level of charge needed to operate the vehicle.