U South Florida Selected to Construct Smart Grid
The University of South Florida’s Power Center for Utility Explorations and Progress Energy Florida have been selected by Florida’s Energy and Climate Commission to build a smart grid that will serve at least 5,000 customers in the area. The three-year, $15 million project will incorporate alternative energy sources such as solar power and biodiesel fuel into the electrical power supply for the neighborhoods. Once developed, the smart grid will be the first in Florida that delivers power to homes and businesses. USF’s proposal was chosen from a field of 140 applicants.
Western Kentucky U Announces Energy Policy
Western Kentucky University's Energy Policy, developed by the WKU Sustainability Committee, has been approved by the University's Administrative Council. The new policy outlines individual and University responsibility for energy management and is intended to guide WKU in responsible use of energy through personal conservation, responsible purchasing, efficiency in building design and management, transportation, and education and awareness.
Christian Science Monitor Covers Increase in Green Campus Initiatives
The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on the increasing number of colleges and universities that are integrating green initiatives into their operations. The article mentions the biomass gasification plant that runs on wood chips at Middlebury College (VT), the wood-pellet boiler at the College of the Atlantic (ME), the biomass gasification facility that will use corn stover at the University of Minnesota, Morris, the methane system at the University of New Hampshire, and the carbon reductions that have resulted from the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
Las Positas College Installs Solar Shades
Las Positas College (CA) has installed new solar photovoltaic shades covering two of its parking lots on campus. The shades, which cost the College $12.9 million, will help provide energy for the campus' air conditioning system.
New York State Launches Energy Program for Campuses
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced a new initiative to encourage greater energy-efficiency awareness and market penetration to colleges and universities across New York State. The New York Energy $mart Focus on Colleges and Universities will identify technical assistance and financial incentive programs that institutions can access to maximize energy-efficiency and achieve their environmental goals.
Rutgers U Competes to Conserve Energy
The five campuses of Rutgers University (NJ) have begun a month-long energy reduction competition. The Busch, Livingston, College Avenue, Cook, and Douglass campuses are competing throughout the month of March to lower their percentage of electrical energy usage. The campus that is able to reduce the percentage of electrical energy consumption the most compared to the month of March last year will win a roving trophy that will be presented on Earth Day.
Vice President Biden Tours Energy Conservation Initiatives at U Penn
Vice President Joe Biden, along with four cabinet secretaries, the Philadelphia Mayor, the Pennsylvania Governor, and three congressmen, recently went on a tour of operations at the University of Pennsylvania. The University, which has cut its energy use by 15 percent, showed the group a small scale model of a former industrial wasteland that is being converted to park land. The park will feature native plant material to conserve water and might contain LED lighting and/or solar panels. The event was part of the White House's Middle Class Task Force, which held its first meeting in Philadelphia, focusing on energy green jobs to benefit middle-income workers.
Butte College Unveils 3 Solar Arrays
Butte College (CA) has unveiled three completed solar projects at its main campus. Together, the solar projects, which collectively are rated at 450kW, will power 10 campus buildings and are expected to save the College $40,000 annually in energy costs. Combined with a 1MW solar project completed during the 2004-2005 academic year, these solar panels will supply about 44 percent of the campus' electricity consumption.
Central Michigan U Competes to Save Energy
Central Michigan University has completed a competition to reduce the amount of energy consumed in the residence halls. The competition, which lasted throughout the month of February, took place in 5 dorms. The winners, which still haven't been determined, will receive $15 to spend at food stores around campus.
Louisiana State U Holds Energy Conservation Competition
Louisiana State University has begun a one month energy conservation competition in its residence halls and apartment complexes. The Unplug Residential Life Energy Competition looks to promote an understanding throughout the LSU on-campus community of what energy conservation entails and to empower students to take action in their daily lives to reduce their personal carbon footprint. Nine residence hall communities, which altogether house 4,800 residents and 135 resident assistants, are competing to see which community has the greatest reduction in energy usage between March 6 and April 3. The contest compares the March 2009 electrical meter readings with those from March 2008. The overall competition winners will be announced during LSU’s Earth Day celebration April 24. Residents in the winning halls will each receive a free USB computer flash drive.
Luther, Wartburg Colleges Compete to Reduce Energy
Luther College (IA) and Wartburg College (IA) have begun a competition to see which campus can conserve the most energy. The winning campus will receive a hand-carved trophy and bragging rights, and the losing campus will have to hang a sign that says the other school won.
U Kentucky Uses Elliptical Machines to Power Generators
The University of Kentucky has retrofitted 14 elliptical machines to put energy back into the building's power system when in use. The Johnson Center, the gym that houses the exercise machines, also features a processor that tells how many watts of energy are being created by the elliptical machines at any moment.
Florida Atlantic U Installs Solar Installation
Florida Atlantic University has installed a solar array on the roof of its Higher Education Complex building. The University expects the 50kW array to supply 20 – 25 percent of the building's electricity consumption.
Luther College Hosts Energy Campaign
Luther College (IA) has launched its second annual energy conservation campaign titled, "Energy Evolution: Conserving for a Cleaner Planet." The goal of this year's campaign is to help students make a connection between mountaintop mining, coal-fired power plants, and light switches.
U Buffalo Installs LEDs
The State University of New York at Buffalo has replaced some conventional lamps for LEDs on campus. Five new LED street lights were installed on a service road, four new LED interior lights were installed in corridors in the UB Center for the Arts, and 20 LED lamps were installed in the main lobby of Alumni Arena, home of the UB Athletics Department. The University estimates that the energy savings for the interior areas will total nearly 8,000 kWh per year in the Center for the Arts and 10,500 kilowatt hours per year in Alumni Arena.
U South Carolina Installs Alternative Energy Scoreboard
The University of South Carolina has installed a scoreboard in its new baseball stadium that is partially powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. A replica of the actual working fuel cell, along with educational material, will be on public display at the stadium to allow fans to learn more about how fuel cells work in general and how the one at the stadium in particular will power the scoreboard.
U Wisconsin Madison to Switch from Coal to Biomass
Governor Jim Doyle has announced that the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Charter Street Heating Plant will convert from burning coal to biomass by 2012. The plant, which is responsible for heating and cooling the UW campus, will run primarily on switchgrass.
Wesleyan U Installs Cogeneration System
Wesleyan University (CT) has installed a new cogeneration system that will allow the plant to produce 81 percent of the campus' yearly electricity needs. The University predicts that the system, which runs with natural gas, will save around $750,000 per year in energy costs.
Winter Shutdown Saves U Albany $280K
The State University of New York at Albany has announced that it saved $280,000 as a result of its winter Intersession and Fall Energy Savings initiatives. The University saved $266,140 by reducing room temperature and lighting throughout all buildings December 20, 2008 – January 15, 2009, and $14,000 as a result of a residence hall energy conservation challenge from September 3 – November 9, 2008. In addition, SUNY Albany received $5,000 from National Grid for the University's Change-A-Light campaign. To date, more than 1,300 energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs have been distributed in residence halls.
Oregon State U Students Exercise to Generate Power
Oregon State University has begun converting the energy generated by exercise machines into electricity. The University has retrofitted 22 elliptical machines to generate electricity that is fed back into the power grid. The effort will produce an estimated 3,500 kilowatt hours of electricity in a year. The initiative was funded by an $8.50 per semester student green fee.
Saginaw Valley State U Students Build Wind & Solar Charging Station
A group of four Saginaw Valley State University (MI) students have built a wind and solar charging station for an electric golf cart on campus. The mobile station consists of a small wooden shed that features solar panels, a wind turbine, and 6-volt batteries to store the energy when it's not in use. To charge the cart, users plug it into an outlet in the shed overnight, which gives the cart sufficient energy needed to make its normal runs of two to three hours per day.
Ball State U to Replace Coal-Fired Boilers with Geothermal
Ball State University (IN) has announced plans to eliminate its coal-fired boilers and install 3,750 geothermal wells. The system, which will take 5-12 years to complete depending on funding availability, will include bore holes or well fields in soccer fields, band practice fields, and residence hall yards. The $66 million project has been approved by the University's board of trustees. The state Legislature appropriated more than $40 million several years ago for the University to replace the boilers with a circulating fluidized bed boiler to burn coal cleaner and more efficiently. Since then, however, no bids were received, and BSU plans to ask the legislature to re-appropriate the $40 million to the geothermal project. The University plans to start drilling the wells in early May.
Middlebury College Opens Biomass Gasification Plant
Middlebury College (VT) has officially opened its biomass gasification plant. The $12 million plant is expected to cut the College’s use of heating oil in half – from 2 million gallons to one million gallons annually – and to reduce the College’s carbon dioxide emissions by 40 percent, or 12,500 metric tons. The gasification system converts regionally grown wood chips into gas that burns to provide steam for heating, cooling, hot water, and cooking throughout the campus. The plant is also expected to supply about 20 percent of the campus’ electricity consumption.
Towson U Holds Res Hall Energy Conservation Competition
Towson University (MD) is holding a residence hall energy conservation competition. The University Residence Government is sponsoring the competition, which aims to educate students on what they can do to conserve energy. Through the competition, students are encouraged to turn off computers and printers when not in use, use natural light whenever possible, and unplug outlets when they are not being used. The amount of energy saved by each building will be recorded. The winning building will receive 50 free Chipotle dinners, which will be raffled off to student residents.
U Hawaii Manoa Installs Solar Panels
The University of Hawai”˜i at MÄnoa Shidler College of Business has installed a 4.5-kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel system on one of its towers. The solar panel system is expected to generate approximately 24 kilowatt hours of power each day. The new system includes a web-based monitoring system that will allow students, faculty, staff, and the general public to monitor solar power, reduced emissions, and environmental statistics on a daily basis.
U New Mexico Saves $75K by Reducing Building Temperatures
The University of New Mexico has saved close to $75,000 in energy costs through the Winter Setback Program. The initiative aimed to save money by reducing temperatures in unoccupied buildings over the University's four-week winter break.
Winter Shutdown at WKU Saves $128K in Energy Costs
Western Kentucky University has saved 1,112 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and $128,340 as a result of its energy savings experiment over winter break. The University decided to execute a "hard" shutdown of the campus during the holiday break, closing the campus for an additional week, to capture savings in its energy budget. During the three week break, WKU’s Department of Facilities Management Energy Management Team set back thermostats in buildings, turned off all lighting except for safety lights, unplugged vending machines and water fountains, and turned off water heaters and all other unnecessary energy draws. Faculty and staff were asked to turn off computers, unplug electronics and appliances, and turn off office lights before leaving for the break, a protocol students in university housing have been following for years. WKU had planned to initiate a similar shutdown over summer break, but has decided not to due to the number of campus activities the initiative would affect.
Ball State U Saves Energy by Turning Off Lights
Ball State University (IN) custodians have begun turning off lights after their nightly cleanings in an effort to reduce energy use and spending. The initiative began after a 4 percent budget cut by the Indiana State Government.
Lee College Signs Energy Contract under Clinton Climate Initiative
Lee College (TX) has signed an Energy Performance Contract with Johnson Controls under the Clinton Climate Initiative's Energy Efficiency Building Retrofit Program. The program brings together many of the world's largest cities, real estate firms, financial institutions, and energy service companies in an effort to reduce energy consumption in existing buildings. Signatories of the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment are eligible to participate in the program thanks to a partnership between the Commitment and Clinton Climate Initiative. Officials believe that Lee College is the first higher education institution to sign a contract in the CCI program. When complete, all 35 of Lee College's facilities will be retrofitted. Specific improvements include adding a building management system and installing energy efficient heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and lighting products. Upon completion, the College expects to reduce its total electric consumption by approximately 35 percent and its energy and water costs by 32 percent.
Princeton U Installs Solar System on Library Roof
Princeton University (NJ) has installed a solar system on the roof of the building that houses the Research Collections and Preservation Consortium. Princeton, Columbia University (NY), and the New York Public Library are serving as hosts for the system, which features 5,000 photovoltaic panels that have the capacity to produce 370 kW of power.
Cal Poly Pomona Installs Solar Powered Bus Info Signs
The California State Polytechnic University, Pomona has installed four solar-powered digital signs that inform bus riders when shuttles will arrive. Riders may also push a button and a voice will announce the same information.
U New Hampshire Completes Methane Pipeline
The University of New Hampshire has completed the EcoLine pipeline, which will pipe methane 12.7 miles from Waste Management's Rochester landfill to UNH's cogeneration plant. Once the Rochester processing plant finishes in testing, which is expected to happen in February, landfill gas will replace commercial natural gas in the cogeneration plant and will be used to heat the buildings on campus.
U Tennessee Lowers Building Temperatures to Save Energy
The University of Tennessee has lowered building temperatures to 68 degrees and plans to raise building temperatures to 76 degrees in the summer. The new temperature policies do not apply to residence halls, but students are being issued coupons for coffee at Starbucks to reduce their energy use.
Williams College Shuts Down to Conserve Energy
Williams College (MA) decreased building temperatures and turned off equipment over its winter break in an effort reduce utility costs and greenhouse emissions. As a result of the initiative, the College saved nearly $90,000 compared to last year and reduced its annual emissions by one percent. Fifty-five percent of the energy savings came from heating. On average, building electricity use was down 40 percent, and electricity use in dorms was down 47 percent.
Colorado State U, Pueblo Dedicates 1.2 MW Solar Array
Colorado State University, Pueblo has dedicated a 1.2 MW solar power system that will provide more than 10 percent of the campus' future power needs. The solar array covers 4.3 acres with more than 6,800 photovoltaic panels, and is capable of generating approximately 1,800 megawatt hours of electricity per year. BP Solar installed and will operate and maintain the system, selling the zero-carbon electricity to the University.
Monmouth U Signs Agreement with EPA
Monmouth University (NJ) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that outlines goals to improve the school’s energy, water and fuel use, waste disposal, and landscaping. Monmouth will join several of EPA’s voluntary programs, which provide trainings, online tools and technical support from EPA experts to program partners. Monmouth will report the progress of its goals to EPA every six months. Based on the reports, EPA will quantify the benefits of the school’s environmental efforts.
Oregon Institute of Technology to Be 100% Geothermal Campus
The Oregon Institute of Technology has installed a 150-foot-tall drilling tower in an effort to power its campus entirely with its own renewable geothermal source. If OIT succeeds, officials believe it will be the first campus in the world powered entirely on geothermal energy. The drilling rig will punch into a geological fracture almost a mile below ground, tapping 300-degree water to feed a 1.5-megawatt electrical plant. The $4.5 million high-heat plant will produce more than enough energy to power the entire Klamath Falls campus.
Milwaukee Area Technical College Installs 90 kW Wind Turbine
The Milwaukee Area Technical College in Mequon (WI) has installed a refurbished, 90-kilowatt wind turbine on campus. The new turbine is expected to generate approximately 8 percent of the campus' electricity and will be used for teaching students who are seeking energy engineer and operations sustainability certifications.
Oberlin College Receives Best Appliance Award
Oberlin College (OH) has received the Best Appliance Award in the Energy Efficiency Markets Competition for its energy orb, a device that glows red when energy use in a particular building is high and glows green when consumption is low. The energy orb hangs in the lobbies of six Oberlin dorms and helped the College to realize a 56 percent reduction in energy use during a recent energy conservation competition.
U Buffalo Installs High Efficiency Servers
The State University of New York at Buffalo has begun installing new high efficiency servers in its Center for Computational Research, an academic supercomputer center. Installation is expected to be complete by the end of the spring 2009 semester. The University at Buffalo estimates that it will realize $150,000 in energy savings per year as a result of the upgrades.
Nicholls State U Implements Energy Conservation Measures
Nicholls State University (LA) has implemented several new policies in an effort to conserve energy and cut costs. New measures include no longer lighting tennis courts, turning off the campus fountain and campus monument, and turning off Christmas lights on campus.
U Arkansas Signs Energy Performance Contract
The University of Arkansas has awarded a $20.9 million contract to Energy Systems Group of Evansville, Indiana to design and install facility improvements that reduce energy consumption and address deferred maintenance issues in 56 buildings on the Fayetteville campus. The contract marks the first phase of a campus-wide energy savings and facility modernization program. The energy performance agreement between ESG and the University guarantees that energy savings over a 13-year period will cover the cost of building improvements. ESG will reduce the university’s total annual energy consumption on campus by 30 percent. ESG will make key energy conservation improvements to the buildings over a two-year period, beginning in early 2009. Renovations will include the installation of more efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems, water conservation equipment, and a solar-powered heater for the swimming pool in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Building. In addition, ESG will work with university relations to provide a campus-wide communications campaign about initiatives to save energy.
Western State College Receives Grants for Solar Projects
Western State College (CO) has received a $15,000 and a $7,500 grant to support the installation of solar panels for electricity and hot water in the College’s Kelley Hall. The solar electricity system will provide between 5 to 10 percent of building’s electrical requirements and the solar thermal system will be used to heat the boiler. WSC received the funding from the Governor's Energy Office Solar Rebate Program.
Emory U Completes Building Energy Competition
Emory University (GA) has completed its second annual building energy competition. The Black Student Alliance House won the competition by reducing its energy use by 31.85 percent. The BSA will receive a $1,000 prize from Emory's Office of Sustainability.
Alfred State College Installs Solar Array
Alfred State College (NY) has installed a 5.1 kW photovoltaic grid intertie system on its Applied Technology Building. The system powers the campus library and administration building of the School of Applied Technology. The project was completed in part by students in the electrical construction and maintenance electrician program.
Appalachian State U Powers Holiday Lights with Solar Energy
A group of Appalachian State University (NC) appropriate technology students have designed and installed a system that powers the lights on the Sustainable Energy Society's Christmas Tree with solar energy. The tree's lights are connected to a photovoltaic system that allows it to absorb solar energy all day and power the lights all night. As a result, the tree is completely off the grid.
Caltech Installs Solar Arrays
The California Institute of Technology has installed 2 of 9 planned solar arrays on its campus. Caltech has completed a solar array on the North Holliston Avenue parking garage and a student-designed and student-built array on the Watson Laboratory building. Once complete, the 9 arrays will provide 7 percent of the institution's energy needs by 2009.
Frostburg State U Receives Champion Award for Solar Energy
Frostburg State University (MD) has received the "Champion Award" from the Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia section of the Solar Energy Industries Association. The award recognizes FSU’s success in establishing a renewable energy demonstration and training program and its Wind and Solar Energy Residential Demonstration System, WISE.