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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
U Utah Building Achieves LEED Platinum
The one-year old building features a 65 percent reduction in energy costs through structural design and passive solar orientation, solar power generation, natural light, recycling and re-using grey water to flush toilets, and a focus on energy efficiency.
Butler U Building Supports LEED Gold
A $34 million renovation of the university's Hinkle Fieldhouse includes new roof with a white cap sheet that reflects sunlight, bicycle storage and changing rooms, low-flow water fixtures and a two-year contract to purchase at least 35 percent of the building’s electricity from renewable sources.
Western Michigan U Partners on 1MW Solar Farm
The 1-megawatt photovoltaic farm in partnership with Consumer's Energy covering 8.5 acres will supply clean energy to the grid while allowing the engineering students the ability to study that data from the system.
U California Purchases Electricity from 60MW Solar Installation
A key step in reaching the university system's goal of carbon neutrality by 2025, electricity produced by a recently completed, 60-megawatt (MW) solar farm will be purchased by the university, with nearly one-quarter going to UC Davis. The 60MW represents approximately 14 percent of the system's total usage and the university notes that an additional 20MW solar installation is set to come online by mid-2017.
Three Universities Participate in Voluntary Carbon Offset Market
The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Ball State University and Southern Oregon University sold credits produced through carbon-reducing activities to help finance and further their carbon neutrality work on campus. Made possible by Second Nature's Carbon Credit and Purchasing Program, the sale to BP Target Neutral generated over $1 million.
Hope College Adds 330 LED Lights to Fieldhouse
Replacing 540 compact fluorescent fixtures with 330 LED ones and dimmers was $200,000 and has been estimated to cut the college's power use by 80-kilowatts per month. The college will receive $16,000 in energy-efficiency rebates.
Eastern Mennonite U & Partners Launch Climate Center
The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions launched in August with a $1 million donation. Led by the university, the center will focus on connecting with a national and global network of like-minded organizations, researching best practices and innovation. Goshen College is a founding partner institution.
U West England to Construct Large Solar Array
(U.K.) To support the nation's decarbonization agenda, increase energy security and enhance local renewable energy capacity, the solar electric system is expected to supply 400-megawatt-hours of electricity, roughly half of the electricity used by the building upon which it will be constructed.
Swarthmore College Assists in Community Solar Array
A satellite ministry of Arch Street United Methodist Church in Philadelphia is now using photovoltaic energy thanks to a collective of North Philadelphia residents and Swarthmore College students and faculty, who obtained funding for the project through a series of grants and crowdfunding. Funding is also being used for an apprenticeship program for young people in the community to learn about renewable energy.