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.
Norfolk State U $5M NSF Grant to Support Underrepresented Minority Students
The five-year, $5 million National Science Foundation grant through the university's Center for Renewable Energy and Advanced Materials will be used for investigating and developing advanced materials and devices for renewable energy. Additional aspects of the research include introducing underrepresented minority students to energy engineering through training and outreach activities.
Hampshire College Anticipates 100 Percent Solar Electricity Use
The college's partner, SolarCity, has applied for permits to construct two grid-tied solar arrays, totaling a 4.7-megawatt capacity that will cover approximately 19 acres, and a 500-kilowatt-hour Tesla battery-storage system to support each of the two systems. Under the project's power purchase agreement, the solar arrays will be built and operated by SolarCity, and the college will purchase the electricity from SolarCity at a fixed rate that is lower than the rate the college now pays for electricity.
Williams College Partners on Capped Landfill Solar Array
Supporting the college's climate change response plan, Williams College and the Town of Williamstown have signed an agreement to invest approximately $6 million to complete construction of a 1.9-megawatt solar array on the town's capped landfill. Williams will provide the initial $6 million investment to construct the project while seeking a tax equity partner that would co-own the solar array and provide $2 million toward the project during the final stages of construction.
College of the Atlantic Opens Community Energy Center
The college's new Community Energy Center builds on existing sustainability and renewable energy efforts and aims to work with residents, organizations and business owners to research, develop and implement innovative projects that enable people and business owners to reap the financial and social benefits of transitioning away from fossil fuels. The first project will provide 30 or more local farms and businesses with solar energy assessments and in-depth information on funding mechanisms.
U Massachusetts Amherst Partners on $16M Solar Project
With no upfront cost to itself through third-party financing and ownership with Brightergy, the university will be installing 5.5-megawatts of photovoltaic technology projected to cut costs by $6.2 million. The university will purchase all the electricity from the installation at a reduced rate. Brightergy is also providing educational funds for learning labs and internships.
California State U Fullerton Announces Start of 4MW Solar Project
At the 15th Annual California Higher Education Sustainability Conference (CHESC), the university announced that construction is underway on a four-megawatt solar power system at three university parking areas. The university will purchase and own the renewable energy credits and power generated by the system under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
Princeton U Professor Receives EPA Green Chemistry Award
Paul Chirik, Princeton University’s Edwards S. Sanford Professor of Chemistry and associate director for external partnerships at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, received a 2016 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Chirik was recognized for discovering a new class of catalysts that are used to produce silicones that could dramatically reduce the mining of ore and reduce costs, greenhouse-gas emissions and waste.
Energy Department Funds $2.1M Solar Training Program
The Solar Training Network that includes the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) aims to improve access to solar training, resources and careers, and seeks to increase the quality and diversity of the solar workforce and establish national training standards. The $2.1 million program is led by The Solar Foundation and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.
U California San Diego Installs Student-Developed Solar Charging Station
The student-engineered project is a spot for students to unwind and charge electronic devices from solar energy. Inspired by a trip to Costa Rica, the site features a 1.5 kilowatt solar tree and two benches. The benches have electrical ports for charging multiple devices and a LED light fixture.
Utah State U Building Attains LEED Gold
The new building at the university's Brigham City campus joins nine others at USU with LEED Gold status and features fixtures designed to use approximately 46 percent less water than traditional fixtures, energy efficiency and 44 percent of the building’s materials were extracted, harvested or manufactured within 500 miles.
Northern Arizona U Wins Two Awards for High-Efficiency Lighting
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Interior Lighting Campaign awarded the university top honors in two categories: Best Use of Lighting Controls in a Single Building and Exemplary Higher Education Sector Site. Overall, the 2016 Interior Lighting Campaign recognized 13 organizations for exemplary performance in their application of high-efficiency lighting systems.
U Texas Austin & Huston-Tillotson U Win College Sports Sustainability Contest
The University of Texas at Austin and Huston-Tillotson University were announced as the two inaugural winners of the College Sports Sustainability Makeover Contest at the Green Sports Alliance Summit. Designed to highlight college athletics' ability to influence fan sustainability behavior and boost college sports sustainability, the winners will receive a prize package valued at $50,000.
Emory U to Launch $1.5M Sustainability Revolving Fund
The soon-to-launch $1.5 million, self-replenishing program will be used to fund capital-intensive energy and water efficiency projects. Made possible by a $500,000 grant from The Kendeda Fund and matched with $1 million from the university, Emory also joins the Billion Dollar Green Challenge led by the Sustainable Endowments Institute.
U Louisiana Lafayette Signs $5M Solar Project Agreement
The university and Louisiana Generating LLC recently signed the $5 million agreement to construct and operate the Photovoltaic Applied Research and Testing (PART) Laboratory, to be located on about five acres. The project partners say the PART Lab will give students training in the field of emergent alternative energies and reduce the university’s net fossil-fueled energy consumption by up to 10 percent. The project will be owned and operated by the university.
Austin CC Receives $150K for Solar System
EBSCO Information Services (EBSCO) recently announced the community college Highland Campus Library as the winner of the grant that will cover up to $150,000 of the cost of installing a solar array, allowing the university to reduce its electricity expenditures.
Cornell U Connects 2MW Photovoltaic Array
The new two-megawatt solar array is now fully operational. Spanning 17 acres, it is projected to offset almost 40 percent of the annual electricity demand at Cornell’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.
Simon Fraser U to Build $21M Energy Plant
The university has reached an agreement with a utility company to build a $21 million energy plant that will decrease the Burnaby campus’ greenhouse gas emissions by 69 percent. Fuel for the new plant will consist of wood waste biomass such as wood chips and shavings. An on-site natural gas plant currently supplies energy to the campus, which will provide back-up and peak demand once the new plant is built.
U St. Thomas Begins Campus Microgrid Facility
Expected to be fully operational in 2018, the campus microgrid facility will include up to a 50-kilowatt solar system that will also be used for teaching about and research and testing on distributed energy resources for alternative-energy microgrids.
Energy Dept. Announces Collegiate Wind Competition Results
The national competition that asks participants to build a small-scale wind turbine that can provide off-grid power named The Pennsylvania State University as top prize winner, while University of Massachusetts Lowell and Boise State University claimed second and third respectively.
U New Hampshire Procures Hydro-Energy
The university now purchases energy from three hydro-energy facilities that provide over $200,000 in annual cost savings. Currently 88 percent of the university's total power comes from a combined heat and power plant.
U California Berkeley Fraternity to Install Solar Panels
A grant from the university's student sustainability fee fund, The Green Initiative Fund, will enable Sigma Chi fraternity to begin installing a solar electric system for its chapter house making it the first fraternity at UC Berkeley to harness electricity through solar energy. The fund also allocated a loan, which the fraternity says it will repay using savings from the solar system.
Harvard U Building Earns LEED Platinum
Last updated in the 1940s, improvements to Longfellow Hall’s infrastructure included efficiency updates to the boiler plant, installation of energy recovery units for enhanced ventilation, substantial insulation upgrades to ensure reduced energy usage and the use of step-dimming. The building is expected to use 39 percent less lighting power.
Twelve Schools Become Pilots for Clean Technology
Second Nature, Clean Energy Trust and twelve higher education institutions created a new partnership that aims to accelerate clean energy technology commercialization by using their campus as testing and demonstration platforms for startup companies. Through this partnership, facilitated in part by the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, the 12 schools will develop and implement a strategy for using existing campus infrastructure to test emerging energy-related technologies.
U Massachusetts Amherst Divests Fossil Fuel Holdings
A recent announcement revealed a unanimous UMass Foundation Board of Directors' decision to divest its endowment, whose value was $770 million at the end of the last fiscal year, from direct holdings in fossil fuels. The move follows divestiture from coal companies in 2015.
Knox College Building Receives LEED Gold
The recently certified, 2014 renovation of the university's Alumni Hall features LED lighting, water control systems, fresh air exchange, occupancy sensors for lighting and ventilation, and reused material from the original building.
Cornell U and Iceland Sign Agreement to Model Geothermal Energy
The memorandum of agreement signed between the university and Geothermal Resource Park Iceland in April 2016 aims to employ a renewable energy park on the Ithaca campus that includes geothermal and hydro resources. Geothermal Resource Park Iceland will assist the university to design a facility that transforms the campus into a zero carbon model for other campuses.
Three New York Schools Win $1M Each in Clean Energy Competition
Bard College, University at Buffalo and SUNY Broome Community College each won $1 million as part of Governor Cuomo's Energy to Lead Competition. The competition, first announced in October 2015, challenged student-led coalitions from New York colleges and universities to design and develop innovative plans for campus and community-wide clean energy projects. Applicants were required to demonstrate innovation in one or more of the following areas: project design, business model, partnerships and/or curriculum integration.
Emory U to Launch Sustainability Revolving Fund
The new $1.5 million Sustainability Revolving Fund will be a self-replenishing program that will be used to fund capital-intensive energy and water efficiency projects across campus. The program is made possible by a $500,000 grant from The Kendeda Fund. The grant was matched by a $1 million investment by the university.
SUNY New Paltz Establishes Student-Driven Green Revolving Fund
The university's new green revolving fund is a student-driven investment fund that will be used to implement energy efficiency and sustainability projects on campus. The idea and plan for the fund came from a course in the university's School of Business that introduces ideas for how sustainable practices can generate a competitive business advantage.
Chatham U Opens Sustainable Building at Eden Hall
The two-floor, 23,000-square-foot center features a commercial teaching kitchen where food from the gardens and greenhouses will be prepared using inductive heating, recycled through a heat loop. Power is generated from a mix of solar panels and two, highly efficient, natural gas-powered turbines that feed electricity to the campus grid. Some of the building's walls are earthen using soil from the campus.
U Alberta Student Creates Method to Save Water in Labs
To reduce water in the university's chemistry labs, undergraduate Alex Schoeddert in collaboration with faculty member Sarah Pelletier built a water reuse system that will save up to 1,900 gallons of water each year.
SUNY New Paltz Partnership Yields 217KW Solar Array
The university's new partnership with the New York Power Authority will result in a 217-kilowatt solar electric system with a hybrid power converter and battery storage for use during emergencies and times of peak demand.
Northern Arizona U to Install 720KW Solar Array
The university has signed a 20-year agreement on a soon-to-be constructed 723-kilowatt solar electric system that will be mounted on a parking garage. A separate 20-year agreement with another agency will provide six cents per kilowatt-hour produced by the system. The student-funded NAU Green Fund will contribute $100,000 a year for the first 10 years to offset the cost of purchasing the generated electricity.
Colby College Begins 1.9MW Solar Electricity Project
The 1.9-megawatt project will feature over 5,500 grid-connected photovoltaic panels. NRG Energy, Inc., will build and own the project built on land leased from the college over a 27-year agreement period. The college will purchase all the electricity back at a predetermined rate.
California State U, Northridge Partners on Mobile Solar
In an agreement with DC Solar Freedom, the university will receive 39 mobile solar units at no cost to the campus. Funding for this program is provided through a third-party power purchase agreement, allowing the third-party to utilize vacant space on the unit for additional brand recognition.
EPA Shares Results of 2015-16 Green Power Challenge
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership recently compiled a listing of collegiate athletic conferences with the highest combined green power usage in the nation. At nearly 414 million-kilowatt-hours, the Big 10 Conference topped the list with the largest collective total purchase among all conferences and earned EPA recognition as the 2015-16 Collective Conference Champion. The top ranking individual conference champion was identified as The Ohio State University, using nearly 123,254 megawatt-hours of green energy.
84 US Universities Join Second Nature's Climate Commitment
Second Nature recently announced that 84 charter college and university signatories across the U.S. have signed onto its Climate Commitment, which requires higher education institutions to set targets, report on progress publicly and collaborate with their surrounding community, all while integrating sustainability across the curriculum.
American U Building Claims LEED Silver
Earning Silver certification in the LEED for Existing Buildings category, American University's Gray Hall features LEED-approved air-quality levels, adherence to a green cleaning program, water-efficient sinks, toilets and landscaping practices. The building uses 100 percent renewable energy via renewable energy credits and offsets.
Appalachian State U Installs Solar Energy Storage System
The newly installed solar storage system from JuiceBox Energy is located at the university's Solar Research and Teaching Laboratory and is a 8.6-kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery system based on the company’s years of automotive lithium-ion control systems engineering.
U British Columbia Concludes Yearlong Sustainability Challenge
The yearlong student competition, which sought to engage students to develop new ideas that would help the university address campus sustainability challenges, ends with three top project submissions out of 11 total. Two projects focus on the university's non-disposable to-go container program, while the project that won top honors seeks to target faculty as agents of change by increasing the number that bike to work.
U South Carolina Enters Partnership with Biofuels Company
Through the new partnership, Midland Biofuels takes used cooking oil produced by the school and turns it into biofuel that they then sell. A portion of each gallon sold will then be donated to the university program. Midland Biofuels recently presented the university with $1,239 that will be used for sustainability programs on campus.
U Iowa Obtains Permit to Test Biomass in Power Plant
Continuing its transition away from coal as a fuel source, the university was recently permitted by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to expand its use and testing of locally available, environmentally friendly fuels at the university-owned power plant. Called the Plantwide Applicability Limit (PAL), the permit caps university air-pollutant emissions through 2026 based on historical emission levels.
U Illinois Chicago Announces Four Climate Commitments
In a campus-wide ceremony, the university's chancellor presented four climate commitment action items that were developed by the university's Committee on Sustainability and Energy. The commitments include reducing carbon emissions yielding to a carbon-neutral campus, reducing, reusing and recycling material leading to a 90 percent waste diversion rate, increasing water efficiency to an amount equal to or less than what falls within the university's boundaries, and creating a resilient campus landscape that supports a biodiverse plant and animal ecosystem.
Wilfrid Laurier U Signs Energy Improvements Contract
Led by the university's Sustainability Office and Physical Resources, the university recently signed a contract with Johnson Controls, Inc., that includes solar installations and energy system upgrades. Energy conservation measures indicated in the agreement include lighting retrofits using LED technology, low-flow water fixtures, demand control ventilation, solar electricity and hot water, and ground source heating and cooling.