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.
Stanford U Energy System Innovation Receives Award
Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI) was awarded with the Engineering News-Record Editor's Choice & Best Energy/Industrial awards. The SESI system transformed the university's energy supply from a 100 percent fossil-fuel-based combined heat and power plant to grid-sourced electricity and a more efficient electric heat recovery system.
U Richmond Installs 205KW Bi-Facial Solar Array
The 205-kilowatt photovoltaic array, installed through a solar power purchase agreement (PPA), uses bi-facial panels, which are able to use the sun's rays from the top and bottom due to clear glazing on both sides.
Illinois State U Students Work to Site Large Solar Array
The student-led initiative, known as Solar Pathways Project, is currently exploring possible sites for solar panels to be installed at the university. The effort is sponsored by a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy and part of a multi-university effort organized by the Midwest Renewable Energy Association.
U Central Florida Students Install 5 KW Floating Solar Array
A senior design team of five recently installed a 10-panel, 5-kilowatt (kW) pilot floating solar array in the campus' retention pond. The pilot project, assuming success, is expected to increase to a 900kW array at full scale, where the energy generated will add to the campus energy grid to completely offset the Bright House Stadium’s current energy usage. This offset is part of Sustainability Initiatives’ goal to reach 15 percent carbon neutrality by 2020 under the Climate Action Plan.
Cornell U Building Scores LEED Gold
The newly renovated building features natural light that reduces the need for electricity, heating and cooling systems that reduce the building's energy use, and nearly 55 percent of the building’s material and furnishings are regionally manufactured.
Dalhousie U Releases Bike Safety Video
The university recently debuted a comedic bike safety video with 12 tips for safe cycling. Students and alumni appear in the film, which was co-funded by the Nova Scotia Department of Health.
MIT Initiates Crowdsourcing for Climate Mitigation Ideas
The university recently launched a crowdsourcing contest to identify projects that reduce campus emissions and highlight the potential for scaleable, educational solutions as a living laboratory. The challenge is part of a new series of contests launched by the MIT Climate CoLab, a crowdsourcing platform of over 50,000 members. The series seeks high-impact proposals that tackle major climate change challenges.
Cornell U Constructs Two Photovoltaic Arrays
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and Cornell University, along with Distributed Sun and Building Energy, announced that new rooftop solar arrays have been installed atop two university buildings to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and build a clean energy future. The university received support for these solar projects under New York Governor Cuomo's $1 billion NY-Sun Initiative, administered by NYSERDA, which is designed to advance the scale-up of solar and move New York State closer to having a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry.
Penn State to End Coal Shipments
In an effort to decrease greenhouse gases and increase the efficiency of energy use, the university will receive its last coal shipment March 2016. After 160 years of relying on coal for electricity and heat, the university is transitioning to natural gas, in part, to help the university comply with the Environmental Protection Agency's National Enforcement Initiatives.
Umpqua CC to Install 36KW Photovoltaic Array
As part of an ongoing energy efficiency overhaul for the campus, the community college will be installing a 36-kilowatt solar energy system that will have the ability to be expanded up to 300-kilowatt capacity.
U Alberta Installs Solar-Powered Street Fixture
As a solution to lighting a dark area on campus where connecting with grid power isn't feasible, the first solar-powered street lamp at the university was installed on the Augustana campus this past month.
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.