Three Universities Receive NACUBO Sustainability Awards

The National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) annual awards honor institutional excellence in higher education business and financial management. The three universities that received this honor for sustainability leadership are University of California, Los Angeles; University of Minnesota, Morris; and University of Texas at Arlington.

Tiffin U Begins Construction on 240 KW Photovoltaic Array

Construction of the 240-kilowatt solar electric system will begin in October, which will be mounted on the university's indoor practice arena. It is projected to supply approximately 26 percent of the annual electricity consumption of the building.

U South Florida St. Petersburg Receives LEED Platinum for Lab

The university’s Warehouse Laboratory, which houses biology, chemistry and physics labs, was an old Greyhound bus service station whose entire shell, walls and floor were kept during a recent renovation. It features a 40-kilowatt solar carport, a new roof, an energy-efficient heating and air system, and enhanced insulation.

7 Universities Receive Energy Dept Funding for Solar-Thermal Desalination Research

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced $21 million for 14 projects, of which $11.4 million went to seven universities. The projects will focus on reducing the cost of solar-thermal desalination and helping the technology to reach new markets, including to areas that are not connected to the electric grid. The seven schools selected and funding allocated were Columbia University ($1 million); Oregon State University ($2 million); University of California, Los Angeles ($2 million); University of California Merced ($1.1 million); University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign ($1.6 million); University of North Dakota ($2 million); and Rice University ($1.7 million).

Nelson Mandela U to Construct Large Solar Farm

(South Africa) The university's South Campus will soon be producing just over 10 percent of its electricity needs thanks to a large solar array that will produce 1,740 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. The university has given a solar company a piece of land upon which they will install and maintain the plant for 10 years, selling the energy back to the university. At the 10-year mark, the university will take over ownership of the power plant and will no longer have to buy the electricity produced. The solar farm will contain a combination of single-axis and double-axis trackers.

Monash U to Purchase Wind Energy & RECs

(Australia) In an effort to help meet its target of achieving net zero emissions by 2030, the university recently signed an agreement from the Murra Warra Wind Farm in Western Victoria, Australia, to buy the rights to both electricity and renewable energy certificates. This long-term power purchase agreement is part of the first stage of the 226 megawatt Murra Warra Wind Farm, which is currently under construction and expected to be fully operational in 2019.

Three Higher Ed Institutions Sign Agreement to Develop Wind Energy Curriculum

Bristol Community College, Massachusetts Maritime Academy and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recently signed a memorandum of understanding to share resources and collaborate on the development of curriculum and programs centered on the offshore wind energy sector. The goal of the Connect4Wind agreement is to create a sustainable offshore wind industry that compliments the existing and historic fishing and industrial uses of the port. It also aims to develop a better understanding of the workforce requirements of existing models of offshore wind and deepen the understanding as a new industry sector with an appropriate supply chain model.

Nova Scotia CC Team Builds Mobile, Solar-Powered Microgrid

The college's Applied Energy Research team has developed a microgrid that uses solar panels and a system of converters and deep-cycle batteries that can store and produce up to 48 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Part of the aim of the research is to build a reliable microgrid that can be deployed to remote areas without conventional power sources, temporary hospitals in disaster zones, and to run small electric cars.

U Winnipeg Begins Using Biomass

The university’s new biomass heating system runs on locally sourced wood pellets that are fed into two 100 kilowatt boilers. The system is expected to produce approximately 2.5 percent of the university's energy needs.

Harvard U Adopts Sustainable IT Standards

The new standards focus on actionable recommendations that schools and departments can adopt in three core areas – waste, energy and practice – aimed at reducing the environmental impact of technology. The Sustainable IT Standards were created by the Green IT Working Group that comprises IT, operations and facilities professionals, in collaboration with the Office for Sustainability and Harvard University Information Technology.

US EPA Releases Top 30 List of Green Power Users

The Environmental Protection Agency's Top 30 College & University list highlights the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership. The combined green power use of these organizations amounts to more than 3 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Nine of the top 30 institutions are meeting 100 percent (or more) of their electricity demand with green power.

U Minnesota Duluth Adds 40 KW Solar System to Residential Apartments

After three years of planning by a student organization called the Solar University Network (SUN) Delegation, the university connected a 40 kilowatt solar electric system to the Aspen Building, part of its Oakland Apartment Complex. The installation was funded by a student service fee, the university's green revolving fund and UMD's Housing and Residence Life. The system is expected to reduce electricity costs by about $3,500 per year.

2018 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge Announces Winners

California State University at Long Beach, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, Tung Hai University (Taiwan), and the University of Utrecht (Netherlands) were recently named institutional winners of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, a competition that asks innovators to create nature-inspired inventions that reverse, mitigate or adapt to climate change. Over 60 teams from 16 countries entered the challenge. Finalist teams receive cash prizes and an invitation to the 2018-19 Biomimicry Launchpad.

Shepherd U & U West Indies Receive $100K Grant Each Install Solar Array on Library

The $100,000 grants, awarded on behalf of EBSCO's 2018 solar grant program, will offset the cost of installing solar panels at the two schools' libraries. Solar energy on Shepherd University's library will be the first building on campus to use net metering to offset an academic building's energy consumption, while the installation at the University of the West Indies will help the school reduce electricity supplied from conventional sources.

Madison College to Connect Solar Electric System

The installation of 5,250 photovoltaic (PV) panels at Madison College's Truax campus is expected to be complete by September and could save the college $200,000 per year in electricity costs. Students enrolled in related fields such as electrical apprentice, electronics, electrical engineering, industrial maintenance and architecture will also benefit from having access to the PV installation.

Georgia College Students to Upgrade Electric Golf Cart Fleet

This summer, three Georgia College students, along with two high school students, will use a $7,700 grant from the Office of Sustainability to increase the efficiency of solar electric powered golf carts on campus. They will also locate spots on campus where the carts can be parked to get the most solar energy.

U Nottingham Partners With Volvo on Energy Storage Research

(U.K.) The new partnership with Volvo Trucks aims to convert diesel engines due for scrap into renewable power storage units that can charge electric bus and truck fleets. The project idea is to re-task the engines to become machines that compress and expand air to store and release energy, called Compressed Air Energy Storage.

Humboldt State U & Santa Rosa Junior College to Receive $5M Each for Microgrids

The California Energy Commission recently announced that Humboldt State's Sponsored Programs Foundation will receive $5 million for a multi-customer, front-of-the-meter microgrid with renewable energy generation owned by a community choice aggregation and the microgrid circuit owned by an investor-owned utility. Santa Rosa Junior College campus will receive $5 million from the energy commission for a renewable energy microgrid demonstration project, which will meet 40 percent of the electricity needs at the campus and allow the campus to provide emergency services during power outages.

Stetson U to Install Solar Array With Inaugural Green Fund

Launched in 2017, the university's student green fee will be used to fund a solar array, planned for connection in August 2018. Aside from the $30,000 raised through the 2017-2018 green fund, the Student Government Association and the university each has agreed to match that amount. Avoided costs have been estimated at $17,000 annually.

61 Catholic Universities Sign 'Catholic Climate Declaration'

The declaration affirms the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement by renewing Catholic support for continuing U.S. actions to address climate change. In addition to the 61 higher education signers, 37 dioceses, close to 200 religious communities, and more than 100 parishes and more than a dozen Catholic health care organizations signed on. The signing announcement coincided with the third anniversary of Laudato Sí, Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment and human ecology.

U Brighton Begins Using Liquid Air to Store Energy

(U.K.) Called Liquid Air Energy Storage, the technology works by storing air as a liquid in above-ground tanks and, when electricity is required, the liquid air is brought to ambient temperature where it regasifies and turns a turbine. The 5-megawatt plant is a result of a two-year partnership project to develop understanding of high grade power storage and influence design guidelines for future plants.

U Utah to Receive Up to $140M for Geothermal R&D

The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced that the University of Utah will receive up to $140 million in continued funding over the next five years for geothermal research and development at a new field laboratory called FORGE, the Frontier Observatory for Research in Geothermal Energy. The new FORGE site is dedicated to research on enhanced geothermal systems, i.e., manmade geothermal reservoirs, which could be deployed in areas across the U.S. that don't have traditional geothermal resources.

Appalachian State U Students Build Outdoor, Off-Grid Classroom

Students enrolled in the Integrative Design Experience Laboratory (IDEXlab) recently completed building a sheltered workspace located at the university’s Small Wind Research and Demonstration Site. Called the mobiLANDING, the energy-independent workspace showcases sustainable building practices and facilitates research.

Knox College Art Building Earns LEED Gold

The college's Whitcomb Art Center features energy-efficient and operable windows on 40 percent of the building's walls, helping to reduce energy use as well as provide high-quality lighting for students and faculty. More than 80 percent of the construction waste was recycled. The building reused historic building materials from the college's Alumni Hall, which was recently renovated. The site features two rain gardens that channel stormwater runoff into the ground rather than the municipal sewer system. Grounds include native prairie plants designed to help reduce unwanted plants from growing.

Thompson Rivers U Launches E-Bike Program

The university is rolling out an electronic bike option as an alternative to cycling on its hilly terrain. Employees who choose to purchase an e-bike through the university will receive a discounted rate with the option to pay it back through a payroll deduction.

U Queensland to Construct 64 MW Photovoltaic Array

(Australia) The 64-megawatt, $125 million solar farm will offset the university's annual electricity needs when its completed in 2020. It will provide research, teaching and engagement opportunities in addition to its environmental and financial benefits. The university will take ownership of the project from renewable energy developer once construction starts, and will own and operate the plant over its expected life.

U Northern Colorado Receives Grant for Solar Array

A $500,000 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will enable the university to purchase and install a solar electric system on the roof of Parsons Hall. The system will produce about 4.7 million kilowatt-hours of electricity with estimated savings of $176,500 over the expected 20-year life of the system.

U Michigan Grants Target Sustainability Challenges in Puerto Rico & Michigan

The Graham Sustainability Institute at the University of Michigan has awarded more than $200,000 to support three sustainability-related research projects in Puerto Rico and Michigan. The projects vary in scale and address energy and food system resilience in Puerto Rico, stormwater management on tribal lands in Michigan, and plans for a green energy village in Detroit’s Eastern Market.

Emory U Students Propose SDG 7 Solutions

21 student teams recently proposed solutions for implementing Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and Clean Energy at the municipal scale as part of the Emory Sustainability Case Competition. The case competition is an annual academic challenge that seeks innovative and practical solutions to a real-world energy issues for the United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise (UN RCE) Greater Atlanta on Education for Sustainable Development and the city of Atlanta.

South Seattle College Hall Earns LEED Gold

Cascade Hall is 58,000 square feet of classroom and lab space serving 140 students. It features LED lighting throughout, a 72 kilowatt photovoltaic system, occupancy sensors, low flow toilets and other water efficiency technology, and rain gardens. During construction, more than 95 percent of construction and demolition waste was diverted from the landfill.

Texas A&M International U to Save $15M Through Energy Efficiency Project

The university recently announced it has started construction on a $9.7 million, comprehensive campus-wide energy-efficiency project that will streamline facility operations and encourage sustainable behavior. The energy savings performance contract guarantees nearly $15 million in energy savings over the life of the project. Savings will come from improving the university’s irrigation system, interior and exterior LED lighting upgrades with occupancy sensors and automated dimming controls, and utility meter upgrades with user-friendly energy dashboards. Construction is underway and expected to be complete by fall 2019.

U California San Diego Receives 2018 Grid Edge Innovation Award

The university was recognized for providing a platform for companies to test new electric vehicle charging technologies with real customers. The university partners with 18 commercial EV charging companies to test a variety of technical configurations and models with the university's population of more than 400 EV commuters.

California State U Maritime Wins Collegiate Wind Competition

Claiming top honors in the U.S. Department of Energy's third biennial Collegiate Wind Competition, the CSU Maritime Academy beat out 11 other teams. The competition includes developing and delivering a business plan, siting a wind plant, and building and testing a wind turbine. The Pennsylvania State University came in second place and Kansas State University came in third.

Binghamton U Students Design & Build Solar Charging Station

Students from the university's Mechanical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering departments unveiled a solar-powered charging station in May. Designed as part of their senior capstone design project, the system consists of a single solar panel attached a 10-foot-tall pole. The panel rotates, allowing it to track the sun from morning until night, increasing the power generated.

Northwestern U & U Tennessee to Receive $3M for Bio-Energy Research

The U.S. Department of Energy has selected projects from the University of Tennessee and Northwestern University that will receive between $1 million to 2 million each. The research aims to develop economically and environmentally sustainable sources of biomass and increase the availability of competitively-priced renewable fuels and bio-based products, while increasing and diversifying the U.S.'s domestic energy sources. The funding is provided through the Biomass Research and Development Initiative, a joint program from the Energy Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Bentley U Arena Earns LEED Platinum

The recently opened, 76,000-square-foot arena features a 504 kilowatt solar array that will generate 40 percent of the building's annual electricity needs, natural light that decreases the amount of electricity needed to light the building’s interior, high-efficiency LED lighting with smart, motion-detecting controls, and waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, and low-flow faucets and showers. Additionally, at least 50 percent of wood used in the building is sourced from forests with certified sustainable forestry practices, about 10 percent of construction and finish materials were locally sourced, and about 20 percent of construction and finish materials contain recycled content.

Maharishi U Management to Install 1.1 MW Photovoltaic Array With Storage

Construction is set to begin in June on a 1.1 megawatt solar array on university-owned land that will provide approximately one-third of the electricity used on campus. The five-acre field of solar panels will track the sun throughout the day. Excess energy will be stored in a battery bank for use during the night and during times of peak energy needs.

DePauw U to Invest $12M in Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

In an effort to reduce the university’s carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency, the university will spend $12 million on new HVAC technology, upgraded heat and water delivery systems, LED lighting throughout campus, and solar panels. The changes, as indicated by the Campus Energy Master Plan, are estimated to save $750,000 annually in energy expenditures and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent.

EPA Announces Green Power Challenge Results

At the end of April, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency concluded the Green Power Challenge and recognized the Champion Green Power Conference, as well as the largest single green power users within each participating conference. At more than 496 million kilowatt-hours, the Big Ten Conference topped the list with the largest total amount of green power used among all conferences. The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, belonging to the Southeastern Conference, was the single largest user of green power at 250 million kilowatt-hours.

U Windsor to Receive $4.5M for Energy Efficiency

In an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development has awarded the university $4.5 million for the replacement of eight aging air-handling units. The grant also includes funding for new LED lighting and roof insulation.

American U Becomes Carbon Neutral

The university achieved carbon neutrality two years earlier than expected through a combination of on-site renewables, a renewable energy partnership in North Carolina, and carbon offsets. The university relies solely on renewable energy for its electricity.

Fleming College to Receive $12.1M for Sustainable Energy Projects

Thanks to funding from the provincial government, the college will get nearly $12,147,000 in infrastructure and research funding, a portion of which will be used to install a new geothermal heating and cooling system at its Sutherland Campus as well as rooftop solar and wind energy.

Five Colleges Create Renewable Energy Partnership

Amherst, Bowdoin, Hampshire, Smith and Williams Colleges have formed the New England Colleges Renewable Partnership, an effort that will facilitate the development of additional solar electricity generation. The planned project will allow them to offset 46,000 megawatt-hours per year of their collective electrical needs from a new solar power facility to be built in Farmington, Maine.

Bowdoin College Achieves Carbon Neutrality

Two years ahead of schedule, the college has achieved carbon neutrality through a variety of campus energy projects, campus engagement, regional carbon offsets and renewable energy credits, with additional contributions from changes to the Maine electrical grid. The college has reduced its on-site carbon emissions by 29 percent compared to a 2008 baseline.

U California Davis Releases Growth Plan Alongside an Environmental Impact Report

The university recently released an updated Long Range Development Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR), which assesses the potential environmental impacts of the proposed development plan along with new housing projects. The goal of the new development scheme is to plan for future growth in programs while targeting environmental goals in areas such as energy and water use, transportation, and waste management.

Western U Receives $11.6M Grant for Energy Upgrades

The grant will go toward a retrofit to modify heating systems from steam to hot water in an effort to increase efficiency and reduce the use of natural gas. The change is expected to result in a 12 percent reduction in emissions from 2016 levels and an estimated cost savings of $1.5 million annually. The funding is from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program of the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

U Richmond Receives $75K Grant for Energy Management Plan

A $75,000 grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund will support the development of a comprehensive energy conservation management plan, including an energy audit to document energy usage and identify measures to increase efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Northwestern U Earns Energy Star Partner of the Year Award

The award recognizes Northwestern’s achievements in energy efficiency, including its efforts to accurately track energy usage data and measure progress in reducing consumption. Northwestern recently completed a comprehensive energy audit of all 222 campus buildings in Evanston and Chicago, representing more than 14.5 million square feet of space. Northwestern is the first university in more than a decade to receive the award and the fourth university ever to be recognized. Previous higher education winners include the University of Michigan (2004), University of Virginia (2001) and University of Missouri-Columbia (1997).

U Otago Reduces Energy Consumption With Solar Thermal Install

(New Zealand) In fall 2017, the university installed a solar thermal system for domestic hot water at its Aquinas College residential campus after discovering that its hot-water cylinders needed to be replaced.

Ithaca College Moves to 100% Renewable Electricity

Working toward its goal of becoming carbon neutral, 100 percent of the college’s electricity has been purchased from Green-e certified national wind farms since February 2018. The purchase will offset around 7,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year, roughly 35 percent of IC’s total emissions.