Boston U Names Head of New Institute for Sustainable Energy
At the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Peter Fox-Penner and his team will focus on increasing energy research initiatives throughout the university, deepening connections among science, engineering and management scholars with policy makers and corporations, and advancing the curriculum at the university's schools and colleges. The institute’s three research focus areas are electric industry transformation, global climate change and smart, sustainable cities.
U Minnesota Duluth and Lake Superior College Awarded Solar Assistance Grants
Technical assistance grants were recently awarded to the two schools to learn more about the feasibility and economic assessment of installing solar photovoltaics on their campus. In support of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot initiative, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) offered no-cost technical assistance to universities seeking to deploy solar energy technology. The schools will receive initial assessment of solar photovoltaic feasibility, including cost-effectiveness of installations, recommended system sizes, estimated capital costs to implement solar and estimated life cycle cost savings. The results will help the campuses plan for future ways to be cost-effective and reduce carbon emissions.
Six Universities to Host Climate Leadership Summits
National Campus Leadership Council recently announced the six sites to host a 2016 Climate Leadership Summit as Arizona State University (April 16), Cal Poly Pomona and Claremont McKenna College (April 22-23), Florida International University (April 30), Georgia State University (April 6), and University of Wisconsin-River Falls (April 9). In partnership with Defend Our Future, the regional summits provide a platform to address energy challenges and climate change.
Ithaca College Announces Partnership on State-Funded 2.9MW Solar Project
Ithaca College and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) have partnered on a 2.9-megawatt photovoltaic project currently underway that is slated to provide approximately 10 percent of the college's electricity needs. The project will be financed through a power purchase agreement, which covers all up-front costs and maintenance, whereby the college buys the clean energy produced from the system owner at a set price over the 25-year term of the agreement through virtual net metering.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Anticipates $41M in Cost Avoidance
A set of energy conservation projects on the Urbana campus has estimated $41 million in cost avoidance over the next 20 years and will reduce the campus deferred maintenance backlog by an estimated $25 million. Improvements in five College of Engineering buildings will include the installation of new HVAC equipment, direct digital controls, fume hoods, heat recovery systems, and occupancy sensors. Substantial completion is expected by July 2018.
Mesa CC to Install 2MW Photovoltaic Array
The community college is preparing for the installation of the 2,045-kilowatt system, slated for completion in late April, which will provide shaded parking spots. The array is expected to provide approximately 24 percent of the community college's total energy use.
South Mountain CC Begins Construction on 858KWH Solar Array
The soon to be completed 858-kilowatt array will be comprised of 2,812 ground-mounted photovoltaic modules, which are expected to generate approximately 1.9 million-kilowatt hours of electricity in the first year. The owned, operated and maintained array by SolarCity will also aid programs at the community college focused on sustainability and clean energy.
Georgia Southern U Installs Solar-Powered Tables
Funded by student sustainability fees, four new SolGreen solar-powered patio tables with built-in charging stations provide the campus community with an outdoor location to work and socialize while charging their devices. The tables come with four power outlets and four USB outlets, shut down automatically during rainstorms, can last five to seven days on stored power during overcast weather and contain LED lights for nighttime use.
U California Davis Dedicates 16MW Photovoltaic Plant
In fall 2015, the university connected the 16.3-megawatt photovoltaic power plant that is estimated to generated 14 percent of campus' electricity needs. The installation, covering 62 acres, is the largest in the University of California system. Photo: Karin Higgins/UC Davis
Borders College Creates Heat From Sewage
(U.K.): Under a 20-year purchase agreement, a system uses a heat pump to amplify the natural warmth of waste water and the heat is sold to the college, allowing the school to benefit from reduced cost of energy and carbon emissions. The innovative system provides about 95 percent of the heat needed by one of its campuses.
Iowa State U Receives $3M for Energy Technology Research
Researchers at the university have teamed up with collaborators at University of Houston, University of Colorado at Boulder, Washington State University, and small battery company Solid Power to develop a battery solution for storing large amounts of energy, such as the energy produced from utility-scale renewable energy wind and solar farms.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Completes 5.87MW Solar Array
The university's first utility-scale photovoltaic project, a 5.87-megawatt capacity, is expected to produce approximately 7.86 million-kilowatt-hours of electricity (about 2 percent of the electrical demand of the Urbana campus), and is the largest solar array on any Big Ten university campus. Approved in 2012 by the university's board of trustees, the project was made possible by a 10-year power purchase agreement with Phoenix Solar South Farms, LLC. The university plans to own all renewable energy credits (RECs).
11 SUNY Schools Receive $2.7M for Energy Efficiency
As part of the New York Power Authority's first ever Operation and Maintenance Acceleration Program grant competition, 11 State University of New York campuses and SUNY System Administration will share $2.7 million in funding to stimulate and accelerate operations, maintenance and minor rehabilitation projects at state facilities. SUNY's building portfolio represents 40 percent of all state-owned facilities.
Auburn U Professor Receives Innovation Fund Award
University professor Jeffrey Suhling has been awarded an Alabama Innovation Fund grant for $400,000 through the Alabama Department of Commerce for research involving efficient building energy systems. With matching funds from the university, funding will support an experimental laboratory for research in scalable energy conversion systems.
Three Northeast Institutions Receive Energy Efficiency Accolades
Dartmouth College, Stonehill College and Northeastern University were honored by the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships as this year's Northeast Business Leaders for Energy Efficiency. This program highlights the accomplishments of organizations that achieve energy savings through investment in cost-efficient measures and address comprehensive changes in major energy systems, such as HVAC.
Yale U Introduces Carbon Charge Program for Buildings
The university recently announced a first-of-its-kind pilot program to put a price tag on the use of carbon, with some of the most prominent campus buildings playing a role in the experiment. Originating as a student proposal, the program seeks to prompt behavior changes at the individual and organizational levels by putting a price, $40 per ton, on carbon dioxide.
Cape Breton U to Become Energy Independent
With two turbines completed and one under construction, the university will soon be powered solely from wind energy. The three turbines are expected to generate 16.2-gigawatt hours of electricity annually, about twice what the university currently consumes, and providing approximately $2 million annually. Data from the turbines will be used in engineering classes.
U.S. EPA Releases Top 30 List of Green Power Users
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Top 30 College & University list includes the largest green power users of higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership. The combined clean-power use of these organizations amounts to nearly 2 billion-kilowatt-hours of power annually, which is equivalent to the electricity use of more than 187,000 average American homes annually.
Ohio University Meets Sustainability Goal Four Years Early
President Roderick J. McDavis announced that the university will purchase 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources beginning December 2015. The university’s Sustainability Plan calls for 20 percent of energy sources to come from renewable energy by the year 2020, although new purchasing guidelines allows the goal to be realized four years earlier than planned.
North Carolina State U Saves Nearly $1K Per Day in Energy
Thanks to a new, summertime initiative that consolidates events and classes into a fewer campus buildings, the university was able to reduce air conditioning levels in unoccupied buildings avoiding nearly $1,000 per day in energy costs. Called the Summer Energy Savings Initiative, 23 classroom buildings were utilized to monitor and control HVAC operations.
U Illinois Chicago Students Measure Building Energy Use
Trying to get students and employees involved in the university's energy conservation efforts, dashboards on display in nine campus buildings indicate the building's energy use by using the university's mascot, Sparky D. Dragon. University Office of Sustainability student interns helped launch the dashboard project in summer 2015.
Elizabethtown College to Install 2.6MW Solar Array
In partnership with Radnor, Pennsylvania-based renewable energy developer, the 2.6-megawatt DC ground-mounted solar photovoltaic system will create an educational living-learning laboratory right on campus. The college was recently awarded a $500,000 grant from the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority to build the project and enhance the sustainability efforts on campus.
Renewable Energy on the Rise Says Energy Dept.
The recently released article from the U.S. Department of Energy cites an increasing number of higher education schools pursuing renewable energy projects. The Energy Department mentions Vermont Law School, Goddard College, Elizabethtown College, Bristol Community College and Metropolitan Community College with a combined total of over 6.8-megawatts installed.
U Washington Collaborates on Renewable Energy Partnership
A new two-and-a-half year partnership will provide funding for renewable energy work, allowing the university to develop renewable energy projects, produce educational outreach materials and create opportunities for faculty and student collaboration.
Huston-Tillotson U Installs 240KW Solar Array
Initiated by an Environmental Defense Fund Climate Corps Fellow, the new 240-kilowatt photovoltaic array at the private, historically black university supports its sustainability efforts to reduce carbon emissions. The campus community will be able to view energy production through a web-based tracking application.
U Albany Faculty Garners Solar Society Award
University Atmospheric Scientist Richard Perez has been selected by the International Solar Energy Society (ISES) to receive the Farrington Daniels Award. Named in honor of ISES founder, the award recognizes outstanding contributions in science, technology and engineering of solar energy applications that lead to enhancing our world and the conditions of human kind.
Vassar College announces two major clean energy initiatives
Vassar College closes two renewable energy power purchase agreement deals. A 2MW solar array will be built in Spring 2016 at a nearby decommissioned landfill. A small scale run-of-river hydro plant will provide the college with 1.9 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year starting this Fall. The two projects will cover more than 20% of the College's electricity needs.
Bristol CC Unveils 3.2MW Solar Parking Canopy
Part of the zero net energy campus plan, the newly completed 3.2-megawatt photovoltaic array covering 800 parking spaces will supply about half of the electricity needs of the entire campus. The project is expected to provide more than $1.75 million in savings to the campus over the next 20 years.
New Study Reveals Energy Efficiency is Key to Meeting Goals
According to a new study commissioned by Schneider Electric and the Alliance to Save Energy, U.S. higher education institutions recognize that energy efficiency is the most cost-effective way to meet their energy needs while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting costs.
U North Carolina System Avoids Over $900M in Utility Costs
The fourth annual University of North Carolina Energy Leadership Challenge revealed that the state's universities and colleges have cumulatively avoided over $749 million in energy costs and over $158 million in water costs as of the 2013-14 academic year.
Dickinson College Energy Efficiency Projects Earn Over $75K in Rebates
Thanks to the state of Pennsylvania incentives to lower power usage through Act 129, the college’s climate action plan projects have brought in $75,000 in rebates. Most recently it received a check for $47,000 for installing motion sensors in all laboratories of one of its science buildings.
SUNY Fredonia Installs Solar Panels
The recently installed solar panels at the university's College Lodge will trim electricity consumption and aid in student learning. The array is expected to save $1,750 annually on utility costs and produce approximately 70 percent of the total electricity needs of the lodge.
College of the Sequoias to Complete 893KW Solar System
In an effort to minimize energy costs, the newly announced 893-kilowatt photovoltaic system is expected to deliver an estimated 25-year savings of approximately $6.4 million. Two installations comprise the 893kW system, one parking lot shade canopy at 285kW and the other is a ground-mounted, 632kW system covering 3.3 acres.
U West England Tests Urine-to-Energy Project
(U.K.): Led by the university's Bristol BioEnergy Center, urine is used as a biofuel that generates electricity to light up urinals. The technology, tested at a music festival, is being developed to improve lives in refugee camps set up in areas suffering the impacts of environmental disaster, war zones, and areas without sanitation or electricity infrastructure.
Bowdoin College Earns EPA Recognition for Reducing Emissions
The college was recently named a 2015 winner of the Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA commended the college for high operating efficiencies on its combined heat and power system, which provides space heating and hot water for 56 buildings totaling 1.4 million square feet, and saving the college $138,000 a year.
Towson U Honored by Energy Department for Reductions
The university's Better Building Challenge goal to reduce usage 20 percent by 2020 and 13 percent reduction since 2010 was lauded by the U.S. Department of Energy at the recently held Better Buildings Challenge Summit.
Pennsylvania State U to Participate in Emergency Electricity Reduction Test
The university will soon request that all campus employees and students reduce the overall electrical load for one hour. The objective of the program is to protect the day-to-day electric grid reliability to help avoid blackouts. If successful, the university will receive compensation proportional to the load drop, and those funds will be used to support additional energy conservation projects.
Florida International U Collaborates on 1.6MW Solar Power Research Operation
The university and Florida Power & Light Company recently agreed to build a commercial-scale, 1.6-megawatt solar electric facility that will both generate electricity for 4.8 million customers and serve as an research operation. The project involves the installation of more than 5,700 solar panels on 23 canopy-like structures.
U Illinois Hosts Energy Boot Camp
In its fifth year, the university's Summer Institute on Sustainability and Energy held a workshop that included energy-focused lectures, panel discussions, site visits, networking events and collaborative projects that give participants the opportunity to create a real-world solution through an intense project that addresses the scientific, economic, business and policy side of implementation.
Three Schools Cutting Annual Energy Costs by Over $5M
With assistance from National Grid and GreenerU, Clark University, College of the Holy Cross and Worcester Polytechnic Institute are collaboratively participating in an initiative that encourages energy conservation, carbon reduction measures, and campaigns involving behavior change and are estimated to generate approximately $5 to $6 million in cost avoidance over the next five years.
U Utah Wins Accolades from EPA
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized the university as a top school for green power purchasing in its College and University Green Power Challenge. The university ranked eighth in the nation by purchasing 85,926,100 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy.
U Chichester to Install Renewable Energy to Meet Goals
(U.K.): In an effort to reduce overall carbon emissions by 43 percent by 2020, solar panels will be installed on the student union by a community energy cooperative, which encourages cost sharing in renewable technologies.
Georgia Tech Initiates Campus Energy Program
The new Smart Energy Campus Program allows university researchers to obtain and analyze energy systems data aided by modeling and simulation tools to evaluate and optimize different energy systems on the university's campus. The project is designed to save labor hours, resources and money by quickly identifying buildings that have unusually high energy usage.