Harvard U Awards $1M to Seven Climate Change Projects

Five Harvard Schools will share about $1 million, awarded by the Climate Change Solutions Fund, for seven projects. Topics include energy, decarbonization, air pollution, imagining a fossil-free future, healthy eating and reducing the environmental footprint of food, and policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to inform the 23rd annual United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meeting of the parties in November.

Willamette U Fitness Center Earns LEED Gold

The building features salvaged existing materials and energy-efficient lighting, improved HVAC systems and water-saving fixtures. The project also used building materials with low or no volatile organic compounds and Forest Stewardship Council-certified forest products, and recycled more than 90 percent of construction waste.

U Mississippi Offsets Electricity Use With Renewable Energy Certificates

The university recently purchased 3,835 renewable energy credits (RECs) for $1,800, which is 0.02 percent of the overall electricity bill. This offset 3 percent of institution-wide electricity use from fiscal year 2016. The purchase, which came about as a recommendation of the UM Energy Committee, allows the university to lower its carbon footprint, support the development of renewable energy technologies and practice resource stewardship.

California State U Northridge Purchases Electric Grounds Equipment

The university's Grounds Shop has switched to all-electric equipment, such as blowers and hedge trimmers, in an effort to reduce carbon emissions on campus. Making the transition to electric, energy-efficient equipment will reduce fuel consumption and gas emissions, increase air quality, benefit employees’ health and reduce noise on campus. The university's president signed Second Nature's Climate Commitment about one year ago, a pledge to make the campus climate neutral by the year 2040.

U Wisconsin Stout Approves Solar Installation

A proposal to install 36 solar panels was recently approved by the Stout Student Association, the university’s student government council. Since receiving state approval, wheels are in motion for the university’s first solar panel investments using $66,280 of student Green Fee funds. All students pay the annual fee for campus sustainability-related projects.

Dickinson College to Complete New LEED for Homes Residence Hall

On March 2, the college began construction on a new, 40,000-square-foot residence hall designed to meet LEED for Homes standards, and is expected to achieve Platinum rating. Energy-efficient exterior walls and roof, high-efficiency windows and connection to the central energy plant are among the many features that help reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, an upgraded stormwater-management system, including a rain garden, will minimize impacts to the existing community systems.

Loyola U Building Earns LEED Gold Level

The new five-story, $137 million building houses 500 students, faculty and staff and features a high energy efficient building envelope, operable windows, and natural daylighting and sun shades.

U Toledo to Test Building Renewable Energy Integration Technology

The university has embarked on a project with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to test software that can automate energy use of buildings on its campus. The project will tap into an existing 1-megawatt solar array on the campus and add battery storage to the system so solar power can be stored.

U Oregon Partnership Offers Energy Efficiency Assessments

The university and a local utility company recently partnered to begin a new program offering free energy efficiency assessments for local rental properties. Working through the Office of Sustainability, trained students are sent out in pairs to assess local rental properties using the U.S. Department of Energy’s Home Energy Score to rate the home’s energy efficiency.

U Iowa to be Coal Free by 2025

Increasing its use of biomass and other renewable energy sources, the university has teamed up with industry experts to develop diverse fuel sources and to optimize the power plant’s handling and combustion of these new alternative fuels in order to eliminate the use of coal by 2025. The current biomass fuel portfolio includes oat hulls, Miscanthus grass and wood chips.

Eastern Kentucky U Sets 2036 Carbon Neutrality Goal

The university recently completed a comprehensive Climate Action and Resiliency Plan to strategically and economically reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2036. The plan calls for the university to reach its goal via a variety of mitigation strategies, including implementation of geothermal heating/cooling throughout campus, improvements in central plant and building efficiencies, greater efficiencies in steam and chilled water, energy efficiency guidelines for new buildings, the purchase of renewable energy credits and carbon offsets and reduction in water consumption.

Delaware State U Dedicates Renewable Energy Education Center

The new center will help increase access to clean energy and advance the state’s goal to get 25 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2025. The center will work to establish the state’s baseline of renewable energy literacy and usage, improve the infrastructure and capacity of renewable energy education, research and extension, and offer certificate programs and credentialing services in renewable energy.

U Nebraska Medical Center Sets 2030 Carbon Neutrality Goal

Over the next 13 years, a new set of goals calls for the university and its partner, Nebraska Medicine, to become carbon neutral, with all the energy they use coming from renewable resources produced either on or off campus. The goals also call for reducing waste to zero and using less water than what falls on the main campus during an average year, about 104 million gallons.

U Reading Sets New Carbon Reduction Goal

(U.K.) After hitting a 35 percent reduction from a 2008-09 baseline, the university announced a new carbon reduction goal–45 percent by the 2020-21 academic year. To date, more than 4 million pounds ($4.9 million) has been invested into projects to improve energy performance, the savings from which will be reinvested back into sustainability initiatives. In addition, plans are already underway to reduce water consumption by 10 percent.

Hope College Building Receives LEED Silver

The building is co-located near public transportation, and uses light-colored concrete to reflect light, and stormwater retention and filtering. By weight, the materials used in construction have 32 percent recycled content, and by cost, more than 55 percent came from within 500 miles.

California State U Monterey Bay Staff Install Solar Electric

Eleven faculty and staff homeowners of campus housing worked with Campus Planning and Development to install solar-electric systems on their roof that went live at the end of January.

Colgate U Installs Geothermal Exchange System

This summer, the university installed a ground source heating and cooling system to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels and achieve carbon neutrality by 2019. The $150,000 project will pay for itself in seven years and is anticipated to save the university more than $650,000 over the course of its lifetime.

Colorado State U Commits to 100% Renewable Energy

The university president recently signed a pledge committing the university to be powered from 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030, after more than 4,300 students, faculty and staff had signed a petition encouraging the university to consider the pledge. The university says that the decision to invest in renewable energy is due to the projected increase in energy prices over the next 20 years.

Red Deer College to Receive $4.75M to Boost Energy Infrastructure & Training

Under the a Canadian federal government investment fund, the college will receive more than $4.75 million for two projects, and it will match the funding, for a total investment of $9.5 million that it is allocating toward upgrades to the campus, and training and research opportunities focused on alternative energy production processes.

Cornell U Connects Three New Solar Arrays

The three new solar-electric arrays will help the university reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,830 metric tons and, combined with two previously installed solar projects, will provide around seven percent of the university's electricity needs.

SUNY New Paltz Awards $1.4M Toward Energy Projects

The university's energy management coordinator organized awards totaling more than $1.4 million for four energy projects: a solar energy storage system, thermal blankets to wrap heating piping in the mechanical rooms of buildings across campus to conserve energy and reduce heat loss, LED lighting upgrades and implement a summer demand response program.

U Illinois Farm to Install Biomass Boiler

The greenhouse at the university will soon have a new biomass boiler from Germany that will replace the greenhouse's current propane gas fuel, resulting in fewer carbon-dioxide emissions. The boiler will use perennial grasses grown on the farm.

Johns Hopkins U Building Gets LEED Platinum

The Undergraduate Teaching Laboratories was designed to use 40 percent less energy than similar lab buildings. Its designs include highly efficient heating and cooling systems, occupancy sensors that control lights and HVAC, low-flow water fixtures and lab technologies designed to conserve energy and water.

Central CC Partners With Utility on 1.7MW Wind Turbine

The college partnered with Bluestem Energy Solutions and the City of Hastings, Nebraska, to complete a 1.7-megawatt wind turbine on the college's Hastings campus. The wind turbine is owned and operated by Bluestem, although the college will claim a portion of the environmental attributes generated by the project. The turbine is slated to be part of the college's alternative energy program in fall 2017.

CFP Championship Game Makes Strides to Reduce Impact

Playoff Green Project was an initiative to make the January 2017 College Football Playoff Championship game, held in Tampa, Florida, more sustainable by seeking to reduce food waste through donations, reduce solid waste by recycling and purchase renewable energy certificates.

Brandeis U to Purchase Electricity from 1.3MW Solar System

In a 20-year power purchase agreement, the university will purchase all electricity that comes from a 1.27-megawatt photovoltaic array, set to come online in spring 2017. Through the utility billing mechanism known as virtual net metering, Brandeis will receive credits on its utility bill for every kilowatt-hour produced by the system. The system is expected to reduce the university's energy bill by $2 million over 20 years.

Arizona State U Enters PPA on 40MW Photovoltaic Plant

The university, along with PayPal, recently entered into a power purchase agreement with Arizona Public Service Company to purchase electricity from a grid-tied, 40-acre, 40-megawatt solar-electric system. Trackers were installed on the system that allow the panels to follow the sun in order to maximize output.

U Albany Renovation Receives LEED Gold

Mohawk Tower, a 24-story residential high rise originally built in 1972, was recently renovated to include upgraded windows and awnings, energy-efficient lighting, dual-flush toilets and metered faucets, and the use of Forest Stewardship Council certified wood and low-volatile organic compound construction materials, such as adhesives and paints.

Emory U Installs 1MW Cogeneration System

In October 2016, the university installed a one-megawatt combined heat-and-power (CHP) generator that will retrieve otherwise wasted heat, allowing the system to use the same amount of natural gas fuel input but produce more electricity. Emory's goal is to produce 10 percent of energy on campus by 2025.

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.