U Virginia Aligns Building Standards With Carbon Neutrality Goals
The University of Virginia recently updated its building standards required for all future construction projects to further the institution’s progress in meeting its goals to be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil-fuel free by 2050. Starting this year, new buildings are restricted from adding infrastructure for the on-site combustion of fossil fuels, such as natural gas, for heating or other uses, unless required for safety or emergency back-up systems.
EPA Releases Top 30 Green Power Usage List
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released the top 30 college and university Green Power Partners, as ranked by green power use. The University of California, Arizona State University and the University of Iowa are the top three ranked (respectively) higher education institutions for their usage of green power. Ten institutions on the list purchase green power in an amount equal to or exceeding 100 percent of their institution-wide electricity use.
Colorado State U to Launch Air Travel Offset Program
Starting Feb. 1, the university will assess a $10 offset fee for domestic air travel trips and $20 for international air travel trips on university business. Sponsored research travel and trips paid for with personal funds will be exempt.
American U Removes Smokestacks
During winter break, two 100-foot smokestacks at American University that were part of the AU campus skyline for more than 60 years were removed. This is the final step in the university’s conversion to a low-temperature hot water heating system that is projected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 40 percent.
U Maine Presque Isle to Install 377KW Photovoltaic Array
Currently under construction is a 377-kilowatt, grid-connected solar array that once completed is estimated to save the university about $42,000 in electricity costs per year. A unique aspect of the modules being used is that they are bifacial panels, meaning the back sides of the panels capture reflected sunlight from the ground, which results in about an 8 percent increase in energy generated.
London School Economics Becomes Carbon Neutral Verified
(U.K.) The London School of Economics and Political Science recently announced carbon neutrality that was independently verified for the academic year 2020/21, for all its measured emissions. This was accomplished by a range of energy efficiency, and by procuring all the electricity from 100 percent renewable sources since 2009.
U Kentucky to Purchase 55 MW of Solar Power
The university recently entered into an agreement with a regional utility company to purchase 44 percent of the power output of a 125-megawatt solar facility. This power purchase is estimated to cover approximately one-third of the electricity consumed by campus.
Santa Clara U Receives $5M Donation for Photovoltaic Systems
A couple recently donated $10 million to the university for a new STEM campus, half of which will fund photovoltaic systems in multiple campus locations over the next few years. The combined systems are anticipated to generate 1.7 megawatts of renewable energy each year when completed.
Columbia U Pledges Fossil Free Buildings
The university announced recently that it will no longer install new fossil fuel connections in any new construction, refresh or renovation projects. To support this transition, the university will evaluate how to fully electrify the campus by replacing the onsite combustion of fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy sources.
Oberlin College Secures $80M in Certified Climate Bonds for Geothermal Project
Investors poured $80 million into a Certified Climate Bond offering for a geothermal infrastructure project on Oberlin's campus. The four-year sustainable infrastructure project will convert buildings throughout Oberlin’s campus to geothermal heating and cooling, drawing on 1,100 wells that harness the earth’s natural underground temperatures to replace Oberlin’s current heat source, natural gas.
Nine Georgia HEIs Receive $300K for State Climate Consortium
The Ray C. Anderson Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to the next phase of the Georgia Climate Project, a state-wide consortium of nine colleges and universities working to strengthen Georgia’s ability to prepare for and respond to a changing climate. With this new grant, the project will engage a diverse network of experts to develop and disseminate knowledge on climate impacts and solutions through webinars, workshops, and an online Georgia climate information portal.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign Connects 12.3 MW Solar Farm
The recently completed phase of the university's solar farm will meet approximately 12 percent of the university's annual electricity demand. The university has begun planting pollinator friendly habitat around the solar arrays.