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.
U California Santa Barbara Unveils Solar Array
The University of California, Santa Barbara has installed a rooftop solar array on the campus' recreation center. The University expects the $1.5 million solar project to reduce its energy costs by $100,000 annually. The bulk of the project’s cost, about $872,000, came from student fees that are allocated to the Recreation Center Governance Board.
U New Hampshire Saves Energy with Reduction Campaign
The University of New Hampshire has announced that faculty, staff, and students saved approximately 192,000 kilowatt-hours of energy through the university’s fourth Student Energy Waste Watch Challenge and annual Thanksgiving “power down” initiative. The University saved $27,000 in energy costs as a result of both initiatives.
Harvey Mudd College Holds Energy Conservation Competition
Harvey Mudd College (CA) has completed its October Energy Conservation Competition. The contest challenged the residents of HMC’s eight dorms to conserve as much energy as possible through a variety of methods including setting computers to sleep mode, turning off lights whenever possible, washing clothes in cold water, opening blinds during the day for natural lighting, and unplugging cell phone and camera chargers from the wall when not in use. The first, second, and third place dorms reduced their energy consumption by 33, 22, and 20 percent respectively.
Kalamazoo Valley CC to Install Wind Turbine
Kalamazoo Valley Community College (MI) has announced plans to install a 50 kW wind turbine on its campus. Installation is set to begin December 1, 2008. Officials expect the turbine to generate 15 percent of the electricity needed to power the technical wing at KVCC.
Los Angeles Southwest College to Install 4 MW Solar Array
Los Angeles Southwest College (CA) has announced plans to install 4 MW of solar panels on campus. The installation will consist of 2 MW arrays mounted atop five carport structures, 1 MW integrated onto building rooftops and 1 MW installed on ground-mounted arrays with tracking systems. The system is expected meet the College's electricity consumption, and will provide educational opportunities for students. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2009.
Madison Area TC, U Notre Dame Join LED University Program
Madison Area Technical College (WI) and the University of Notre Dame (IN) have joined the LED University program, an international community of universities working to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient LEDs across their campuses. LED University member institutions seek to promote and deploy LED lighting as they work toward increasing energy savings, protecting the environment, reducing maintenance costs, and providing better light quality for improved visibility and safety. Since 2007, MATC has installed approximately 400 LED fixtures on its campus. Notre Dame has implemented four pilot installations to evaluate the feasibility of LED lighting on its campus, and has experienced energy savings of 50 to 80 percent on each project thus far.
Mass Maritime Academy Installs Solar Outdoor Lighting
The Massachusetts Maritime Academy has installed solar-powered LED outdoor lighting on campus. MMA believes the installation to be the largest in New England. The lights are powered by photovoltaic panels, making them completely independent of the electric grid. The lighting project was largely funded by a $325,000 state renewable energy grant to Mass Maritime, supplemented by a $34,000 rebate from the Commonwealth Solar program managed by the Mass Technology Collaborative. The balance of the funding was provided by the Massachusetts State College Building Authority and other Mass Maritime funds.
Montana State U Signs Contract to Save Energy
Montana State University has signed a contract with Integrated Energy Solutions to reduce its overall energy consumption on campus. The agreement will be paid for with a percentage of the savings the campus realizes from conservation opportunities identified by the firm. The focus of the program is on behavioral and low-cost, practical ways to reduce energy use and instilling a culture of energy conservation among the campus community.
PLNU Installs 310KW Array, Receives Award for Sustainable Design
Point Loma Nazarene University (CA) has received an Orchid Award for Sustainable Design. Each year, the San Diego Architectural Foundation hands out Orchids and Onions for the best and worst designs respectively. PLNU’s 310 KW solar panel system from SPG Solar earned the award. The system provides approximately 80 percent of peak energy for four major buildings, including a residence hall and the gymnasium, and reduces CO2 emissions significantly. In total, more than 50 percent of the buildings’ annual electricity costs will be offset by clean, solar power.
Southern Utah U Installs 6 KW Solar Array
Southern Utah University has installed a 6 kW photovoltaic system on the roof of the facilities building. The installation was funded by a Blue Sky grant from Rocky Mountain Power.
Trinity College Signs Contract for Climate Plan Development
Under a new partnership between Trinity College (CT), Groom Energy Solutions, and Nexus Environmental Partners, Groom and Nexus will provide Trinity with a multi-year climate commitment plan and will implement facilities upgrades to help the College meet the requirements of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment. The two companies will provide detailed campus and building energy assessments, energy efficiency facility upgrades, on-site renewable energy installations, and water conservation measures. Nexus and Groom will also work closely with administration, faculty, and student organizations to implement campus wide messaging, training and process change. The companies will also deliver and manage the measurement tools for tracking performance over time.
U Arkansas to Complete Energy Upgrades, Signs Energy Contract
The University of Arkansas has announced plans to begin a campus-wide energy conservation program. The University will begin installing energy-saving projects in 57 campus buildings in December or January. The measures will include installing sensors that regulate lighting and temperature when rooms are not occupied; low-flow bathroom fixtures; more efficient lighting; and more efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. The upgrades are expected to cost $32.8 million over 13 years, but the University expects the improvements to pay for themselves in energy savings. In related news, UA has signed a $22.9 million energy performance contract with Energy Systems Group to make the energy conservation improvements.
Auburn U Begins Converting Vegetable Oil into Biodiesel
Auburn University (AL) has begun a program to convert used vegetable oil from campus fryers into biodiesel fuel. The AU Biosystems Engineering Department collects the oil from the new Student Center and converts it into fuel. The biodiesel is then used in trucks that transport materials to and from one of the college's rural studios.
Notre Dame, Syracuse U Compete to Reduce Energy
The University of Notre Dame (IN) and Syracuse University (NY) have begun a competition to reduce energy consumption as part of NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" consumer campaign. The two teams, comprised of students, faculty, alumni, and fans from each university, are competing during the month of November in a variety of eco-challenges posed by Carbonrally.com. NBC Universal will donate $10,000 to the rival who can build the largest Carbonrally team. The winnings will support green campus initiative
U Mass Dartmouth Begins Energy Use Reduction Campaign
The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Sustainability Office has launched a new campaign to encourage the campus community to reduce the amount of energy used on campus. To launch the five month campaign, the Office of Sustainability held an event at which it announced tips on how students, staff, and faculty can reduce the amount of energy they use in dorms, offices, and on campus.
Florida Atlantic U Unveils Solar Power System
Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science has unveiled a solar power system on the south side of its building. The system was designed and built as a class project in a solar engineering course, and it controls the solar energy lab’s computers. FAU plans to add on to the system in the future so that all of the mechanical engineering labs operate via solar energy.
Florida Gulf Coast U Begins Construction on 2 MW Solar Farm
Florida Gulf Coast University has begun construction on its 16-acre solar energy farm. The 2 MW farm, which is located on the FGCU campus, will provide electricity for the entire campus. The project is projected to save the institution $22 million in energy over a 30 year period.
Sinclair CC Converts Tractor to Biodiesel
Sinclair Community College (OH) has converted one of its tractors to biodiesel. The College has plans to convert a second tractor as well, and both will be used for grounds work at Sinclair. Sinclair produces its own biodiesel for the tractors.
Auburn U Replaces Servers with Green Virtualization Software
The Auburn University (AL) Office of Information Technology (OIT) has begun a project to replace campus servers with virtualization software. The virtualization software acts like hardware and when it is installed on a computer, it allows additional operating systems to run virtually on the physical host computer. OIT has begun installing virtualization on the university servers and run, in some cases, up to twenty virtual serves within one physical server. So far, the University has replaced 140 servers with 7 virtual clusters. As a result, Auburn has experienced a decrease in energy costs.
CSU to Install 8MW of Solar, HSU to Install 300 kW of Solar
California State University, the state of California, and SunEdison have partnered to install 8 MW of solar power on 15 Cal State campuses and the CSU chancellor's office. The power-purchase agreement allows CSU to buy renewable power at or below current retail rates, while avoiding the cost of installing the system. Under the agreement, SunEdison will finance, build, operate, and maintain the solar panels for 20 years. The new solar panels will be installed on rooftops, atop parking canopies, and in ground-mounted arrays. In related news, Humboldt State University has established two solar energy initiatives as part of a joint program with California State University and the California Department of General Services to generate eight megawatts of solar photovoltaic power. HSU will install 300 kW of solar panels on the roof of the University Library and has issued a contract to install a demonstration 12.5 kilowatt photovoltaic panel system on the roof of the Old Music Building. HSU expects to derive $36,000 in cost savings each year from the energy conservation effort. Construction is scheduled to begin in a few months.