New Mexico Passes Bill to Make College Tuition-Free
The governor recently signed into law a bill that will waive tuition for any students attending any in-state public school or tribal college, including community colleges. In addition to covering full tuition and fees at in-state public colleges and universities, the scholarship lets students stack federal aid such as Pell Grants, local scholarships and private scholarships so that they can use these funds to pay for books, materials, housing, food, transportation, childcare and other college costs.
Virginia Tech Begins 2.1 MW Solar Electric Project
The new project involves 2.1 megawatts of solar arrays on seven Blacksburg campus buildings. A third party will develop and initially own and maintain the arrays and sell the power to the Virginia Tech Electric Service through a power purchase agreement for six years. After that, Virginia Tech plans to purchase and maintain the systems for the remainder of their 30-year useful lives.
Bates College Releases 'Sustainability Roadmap'
Bates College recently published a Sustainability Roadmap for this decade that sets the goal to sequester more emissions than the college emits by 2030. The roadmap sets forth new Passive House building standards, 100 percent renewable energy targets, and climate-focused coursework/research goals.
Marquette U Prohibits Direct Investments in Fossil Fuels
The university's board of trustees recently approved an updated investment policy for the university endowment. The new socially responsible investing and sustainability language strictly prohibits direct investments in public securities whose primary business is the exploration or extraction of fossil fuels. The university’s current investment portfolio does not include any direct public investments in fossil fuels.
Stanford U Produces 100% Renewable Energy
A 63-megawatt solar photovoltaic plant came online in March, along with a 200-megawatt battery energy storage system, that enables the university to produce more renewable energy than it uses. Excess energy generated goes onto the California electric grid.
U Exeter Sets 2030 Carbon Net Zero Target
(U.K.) The university announced recently an updated net zero emissions goal of 2030. The new target covers direct emissions (scope 1 & 2) and also includes scope 3 (indirect emissions caused by the university's activities, such as purchases). Scope 3 emissions are approximately 72 percent of the university's total emissions.
Academics Sign Letter Encouraging Rejection of Research Funding From Fossil Fuel Companies
Five hundred academics from the U.S. and U.K. recently signed onto an open letter addressed to university leaders in the two countries, calling on them to reject all funding from fossil fuel companies for climate research. The letter cited the potential conflict of interest and compromise of academic freedom, as well as the opportunity for companies to greenwash their reputation.
Federal US Government Directs $3M to HBCUs for Decarbonization Research
The U.S. Department of Energy announced recently that $3 million in federal funding would be directed toward historically Black colleges and universities, and other minority serving institutions, for research dedicated to carbonizing power generation and to help strengthen a pipeline from those schools into energy-related jobs.