Maryland Gov. Announces $7.5M for U Maryland 'Green Energy Institute'

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced his environmental agenda for the coming legislative session that included allocation of $7.5 million to the University of Maryland to create a green energy research center. The mission of the Green Energy Institute will be to develop and attract private investment and commercialize clean energy innovations and deployment solutions in Maryland.

Black Hills State U to Install Four Solar Energy Arrays

In an effort to normalize what it pays for electricity and to further its environmental efforts, the university is moving forward with four photovoltaic arrays that are projected to provide approximately 17 percent of its annual electricity consumption. The university currently pays 3 cents per kilowatt-hour to Western Area Power Administration. Six months out of the year, BHSU exceeds its allocation from WAPA and then buys power from Black Hills Energy at a rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour. The solar power will replace the power bought from Black Hills Energy.

National Institute Solar Energy Launches Realtime Monitoring

(India) The National Institute of Solar Energy recently completed the installation of a monitoring system that will help keep track of energy consumption as well as efficiency of power generating units. The school meets all its energy requirements through solar power and produces surplus that it can send back to the grid.

U Notre Dame to Generate Hydroelectric Energy

The university and the city have reached an agreement on a 50-year lease that gives the university rights to construct and operate a hydroelectric generation facility on the dam in the St. Joseph River. The university will run transmission lines from the dam to campus to generate about seven percent of its electrical needs.

Northern Arizona U Building Earns LEED Gold

The university's Aquatic and Tennis Complex features recycled material use, such as steel, carpet and acoustical tiles, the use of native and climate-adapted plants, high-efficiency lamp sources and daylighting, and water-efficient fixtures and water bottle/drinking fountain stations.

Dickinson College to Bring 3MW Solar Array to Campus

As Dickinson approaches its 2020 deadline for carbon neutrality, the college has advanced a project that will bring a three-megawatt solar array to campus. The array is expected to provide 25 percent of the college’s electricity. The project is in conjunction with SolarCity through a 25-year power purchase agreement. Under the 25-year contract, SolarCity will install and maintain the solar panels at no cost to the college. Dickinson’s only expense will be the cost of the power itself.

Saint Johns U to Purchase Solar Energy

The university will soon be able to use a maximum of 40 percent of a three-megawatt, grid-tied photovoltaic array, which will provide just over 13 percent of university's annual electrical needs. The new solar field is being constructed on 23 acres of Abbey-owned land, which will be replanted to a prairie-wildflower mix between the panels to increase pollinator habitats for bees, butterflies and birds.

U Virginia Signs onto Power Purchase Agreement for Large-Scale Solar Array

The university and its Darden School of Business have entered into a solar power partnership with Dominion Virginia Power to purchase the entire output of electricity produced at a new, 17-megawatt facility for 25 years. The solar farm will cover 160 acres and meet approximately 12 percent of the university's electrical consumption.

Stanford U Partners on 67MW Photovoltaic System

The university teamed up with SunPower to complete a 67-megawatt solar system that will reduce the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 68 percent and use of fossil fuels by 65 percent. The nearly 155,000-panel array tracks with the sun to optimize solar gain. Although the station is not wired directly to Stanford, the university will buy all the power the station generates for the next 25 years at a fixed price.

U California Irvine Stores Unused Renewable Energy

University engineers have successfully implemented a pilot power-to-gas hydrogen pipeline project that uses excess clean electricity. Power-to-gas is a technique for converting surplus sustainable energy from solar panels or wind farms into hydrogen, which can be blended with natural gas and utilized for power plants. At the university, the hydrogen is mixed with natural gas and burned in the gas turbine power plant to generate electricity and heat for the campus. Such systems are currently in place in Germany and Canada.

Georgia State U Receives $160K Grant for Parking Deck Lighting Improvements

After receiving an energy audit and report of a university-owned parking deck from an Atlanta-based, energy nonprofit, the university will use a matching grant of $160,340, for a total of $320,680, to retrofit or replace existing metal halide and fluorescent lighting with LED lighting, install occupancy sensors and raise light levels to increase safety. In total, the project is expected to reduce site energy consumption by 52 percent, a cost avoidance of nearly $55,000 annually.

U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Enters into Wind Power Purchase Agreement

In a 10-year power purchase agreement, the university will receive nearly nine percent of the total wind generation of a nearby utility-scale wind farm, which in combination with other renewable energy brings the campus' clean energy portfolio to about nine percent (33,200-megawatt-hours) of it's annual energy consumption. The university's climate action plan includes an objective to obtain at least 120,000-megawatt-hours per year from low-carbon sources by fiscal year 2020.

Middlebury College Reaches Carbon Neutrality

In a recent news announcement, the college explains two initiatives it used to help reach a net zero carbon footprint, meaning that the institution has balanced the amount of carbon emissions it releases with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset. In 2008, a biomass facility was brought online that helped reduce No. 6 fuel oil from two million gallons to 600,000 by using 24,000 tons of locally sourced wood chips. In addition, a conservation deal allowed the college to set aside 2,100 acres of forestland in perpetuity that it will count toward carbon sequestration.

Harvard U Achieves GHG Reduction Milestone Set in 2008

In a recently released report, the university details the path it took to achieving its goal, which it set in 2008, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2016 from a 2006 baseline, inclusive of campus growth. The steps included energy audits and energy efficiency measures across most of the 25 million square feet of campus, installing renewable energy technology, and fuel-switching and other improvements to campus utilities that lowered carbon pollution. Changes to energy supply and demand resulted in a 24 percent absolute reduction in emissions while purchased electricity from local renewable energy sources fulfilled the remaining six percent reduction.

U Virginia Leases Rooftop for 364KW Solar Array

In a lease agreement with Dominion Virginia Power, the university now has two photovoltaic array systems totaling 364-kilowatts. While the electricity is grid-tied, the university will be able to use the system for student and faculty research, and to raise awareness about renewable energy.

Vanderbilt U Student Prompts Solar Electric Project

A former student member of the university's tennis program proposed a photovoltaic project for the tennis center that, now installed, cut natural gas consumption at the center by 40 percent. Funding was approximately $80,000 and came from the Green Fund Working Group. The project was completed fall 2016 and is comprised of 67 solar panels.

U New Hampshire Organic Farm Launches Innovative Composting Operation

At the university's Organic Dairy Research Farm, students and researchers continue to close the loop of operations through launching a composting program that provides a high-quality compost product and uses compost heat to preheat water for other farm uses.

Oklahoma State U to Connect New, More Efficient Power Plant

The construction of a new central steam and chilled-water plant will replace the university's 1947 power plant and is set to come online at the beginning of 2017. Designed to meet future needs as dictated by the growth of campus over the next 20 years, the power plant's new chillers will be 31 percent more efficient and new boilers 21 percent more efficient than existing plant equipment, resulting in a projected $350,000 reduction of annual campus energy costs.

Rowan College Burlington County Offers Vets Free Solar Energy Training

The college now offers military members transitioning out of the service and honorably discharged veterans an opportunity to participate in the college's Solar Ready Vets program, a six-week training developed by the U.S. Department of Energy that prepares participants for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Entry Level Exam and solar-related jobs, such as system installers and sales representatives.

North Carolina State U Students & Faculty Petition for Renewable Energy by 2030

Students gathered just before the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday to ask Chancellor Randy Woodson to commit to making the university 100 percent reliant on renewable energy sources by 2030. Students working with the Climate Reality Project, Environment America and the Student Public Interest Research Groups gathered 4,200 signatures from students and faculty on a petition, as part of a national movement called “100% Committed, 100% Renewable. The Week of Action for Renewable Energy.”

St. Olaf College Soon to be Carbon Neutral

The college will soon be 100 percent carbon neutral after the completion of five, one-megawatt solar electric farms on college-owned land. In addition to the solar installations, the college operates a utility-scale wind turbine and purchases wind energy from a utility. The college uses over 17,000 megawatt-hours of energy.

Duke U Students Challenge Proposed Natural Gas Plant

A proposed 21-megawatt, combined heat-and-power (CHP) project that the university and Duke Energy have claimed as a clean and energy-efficient alternative for the university is facing growing opposition. Opponents worry the project will expand the use of fossil fuels, and some complain the university has not involved students, faculty and the local community.

U South Queensland to Install 1.9MW Solar Electric Array

Helping to significantly reduce its carbon footprint and electricity costs, the 1.9-megawatt photovoltaic system will offset approximately 20 percent of the university's total carbon emissions.

Weber State U Unveils 2MW Solar System

The approximately two-megawatt solar-electric system is expected to provide 100 percent of the Davis campus electrical needs. The system was financed, designed, installed and will be maintained by SolarCity and covers nearly seven acres of land.

Architectural Record Covers Campus Sustainable Development

In the November 2016 issue, Architectural Record centered around design and development of the built environment on campuses across the U.S, with a spotlight on three schools. The issue highlighted Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus, a full-cycle water reclamation, net-­positive energy production and zero-waste operations campus, Hampshire College's R.W. Kern Center, a building constructed to meet the Living Building Challenge guidelines, and Cornell University’s 352-unit, 26-story tower high-rise designed to Passive House standards (set to open 2017).

North Carolina State U Energy Competition Yields $12K in Avoided Utility Costs

Throughout October, a student-led energy and water challenge between 1,100 residents of three dorms resulted in $12,000 of avoided energy and water costs. The three residence halls are nearly identical in size and each have their own utility meters, which made for an ideal competition.

Wesleyan U Celebrates Installation of 750KW Photovoltaic Array

Projected to provide approximately five percent of the university's annual energy consumption, the completed 750-kilowatt solar-electric system will work in collaboration with two existing natural gas co-generation facilities to expand the reach of its microgrid.

Ball State U Shaves 20 Years Off Carbon Neutrality Date

In consultation with the institution's Sustainability Working Group, the interim president endorsed moving the carbon neutrality date up from 2050 to 2030, which was made possible, in part, from the installation of a ground-source heating and cooling system and working with Chevrolet and the Climate Neutral Business Network to sell carbon reduction credits on the voluntary carbon market to fund further advancements.

Cleveland State U Becomes EPA 'Green Power Partner'

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently designated the university as a Green Power Partner for its efforts to enhance renewable and clean energy use on campus. The campus purchases nearly 18 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable energy certificates annually, which is 30 percent of its overall electricity use.

Energy Department Recognizes U California, Berkeley Energy Efficiency

The U.S. Department of Energy's Better Buildings Challenge program recognized the university for its Energy Management Initiative, an approach to linking energy costs to building occupants in its Jacobs Hall facility, an interdisciplinary learning hub. After just five months in operation, the building expects energy savings of 65 percent, or $41,000 dollars. Through the Better Buildings Challenge, the Department of Energy aims to achieve the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments.

Randolph College Building Receives LEED Silver Certification

The 108-year-old residence hall now includes a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, high efficiency faucets and toilets, access to public transportation, low-emitting materials and energy efficient light controls.

Amherst College Sets Up Green Revolving Fund with $2M Gift from Alumnus

The college recently joined the Billion Dollar Green Challenge, an initiative of the Sustainable Endowments Institute, after Prince Albert Grimaldi ’81 of Monaco gifted $2 million toward the establishment of a fund to support operational and facilities environmental initiatives. The overarching purpose of the green revolving fund is to aid the college in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by providing the resources to implement energy conservation measures.

Prescott College Runs Solely on Renewable Sources for Electricity

The college's Sustainability Office announced that with the financial support of the student sustainability fee the college now sources 100 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

North Carolina State U Reaches State-Mandated Energy & Water Goal

Despite a more than 50 percent increase in campus square footage, the university reduced campus energy use by 33 percent and water use by 50 percent per gross square-foot, as indicated by a piece of legislation that became law in 2007. The legislation calls for a 30 percent reduction in energy use per gross square foot from the 2003 baseline and a 50 percent reduction in water use per gross square foot from the 2002 baseline.

U Buffalo Receives Green Power Partner of the Year Award

The university was recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for procuring more than 212 million kilowatt-hours of wind-sourced renewable energy, making it one of the largest purchasers of green power of any New York State agency, along with on-site solar installations. The U.S. EPA's Green Power Leadership Awards recognize Green Power Partners for achievements in advancing the nation’s renewable energy market and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

MIT Announces 44MW Renewable Energy Purchase

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston Medical Center and Post Office Square Redevelopment Corporation have formed an alliance to purchase electricity from a large, new solar power installation through an agreement that will enable the construction of a roughly 650-acre, 60-megawatt photovoltaic power plant on farmland in North Carolina. MIT’s purchase of energy (44-megawatts) from this facility’s 255,000 solar panels is equivalent to 40 percent of the school’s current electricity use.

Dartmouth College to Build Photovoltaic Demonstration Project

Designed to be a demonstration project, the double-axis tracker photovoltaic system will follow the sun throughout the course of the day and seasons, and will take a vertical position in high winds to prevent damage.

Ohio Northern U Begins Construction on 2MW Solar Array

Projected to meet approximately 10 percent of the university electricity demand, the two-megawatt photovoltaic system is expected to be complete in 2016. Under a 25-year power purchase agreement, the university will purchase electricity directly from the array without needing to invest capital in construction and maintenance.

Cornell U Releases Report on Carbon-Reducing Solutions

Released in September 2016, Options for Achieving a Carbon Neutral Campus by 2035 - Analysis of Solutions is a set of recommendations for that will inform decision-making to reach carbon neutrality by 2035. The report focuses on solutions to reducing energy demands and providing low carbon energy supply, such as ensuring all students graduate with a basic understanding of climate literacy and pursuing energy solutions in partnership with local and regional entities.

Keene State College Heats with Waste Vegetable Oil

In a Campus Sustainability Month announcement, Keene stated it is using 100 percent purified waste vegetable oil to heat approximately 36 percent of campus. During August 2016, the college met the demand for heat and hot water using this fuel, which is helping the college reduce carbon emissions.

Union College Installs EV Charging Stations

Two electric vehicle charging stations are now available to students, faculty and staff for use in four-hour blocks. A Planning and Priorities grant, awarded each year for projects that support the college’s strategic plan, will pay for the stations and will cover electricity use during the first year.

U Alabama Birmingham Installs Solar Electric System

The 100-panel system sits atop the UAB Campus Recreation Center and will be utilized for coursework and research by students and faculty, including by the university's U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon team.

Ohio U Building Earns LEED Gold Certification

The new building minimizes consumption of water and energy, project materials contained recycled content, almost 50 percent of materials were manufactured in the region, and the project diverted more than 75 percent of construction waste from entering a landfill.

Otto Beisheim School Mgt Opens Building with Sustainable Energy System

(Germany) The new building features a climate control system that includes two wells for groundwater that is used to cool the building. This is coupled with a software-controlled ventilation system that allows the air inside the building to mix with outside air to result in an even distribution of temperature without temperature stratification.

Michigan State U Students Test Solar Hot Water on Campus

Located in a cold-weather climate with an average of 174 sunny days per year, students, in collaboration with the Sustainability Office, are involved in testing the efficacy of flat plate collectors versus evacuated tubes to determine the best renewable energy solution for campus' hot water.

Elon U Installs Solar-Powered Unbrellas

The newly installed umbrellas include three weather-proof ports that can charge as many as three devices simultaneously and an LED display indicating how much solar energy is currently stored for charging needs. The umbrellas can also be used at night for six to 16 hours

US Higher Education Institutions Drastically Reduce Coal Use

According to the Energy Information Administration, coal consumption fell in each of the 57 colleges and universities that used the fuel in 2008, with 20 of these institutions cutting it out of their energy mix completely.

California State U Long Beach to Construct 4.8MW Solar Canopy

Estimated to offset approximately 15 percent of the campus' electrical demand, the 4.8-megawatt photovoltaic system will provide shade and 50 electric vehicle charging stations to the campus community.

U Washington to Install Three Solar System Test Projects

Three residence halls will be the recipients of photovoltaic arrays to support research on how solar energy can be combined with other demand-side resources, resources such as battery systems. Seattle City Light's Green Up program is contributing $225,000, which enabled the university to compete for the Washington State Department of Commerce Solar Grant Program that is providing $225,000 in matching funds.

Furman U Plans to Build 743KW Photovoltaic Array

The 743-kilowatt solar electric system with a cost of $1.7 million was recently approved by the university board of trustees. While Duke Energy is providing a rebate of nearly $1 million, the university expects an eight-year return on its investment. The university has a stated carbon neutrality goal of 2026.