Bates College Switches One Boiler to Renewable Fuel Oil
To aid the college's long-term carbon neutrality goals, it recently switched fuel sources on one of its three boilers from natural gas to renewable fuel oil, a proprietary product made by vaporizing wood feedstock (e.g., sawdust) at a very high temperature. The vapor, which retains the energy of the wood’s organic compounds, is then re-condensed into a fuel oil.
Mohawk Valley CC Installs 3 MW Solar Array
Projected to offset about $90,000 per year in electricity costs, the 3 megawatt project is net-metered, meaning that any excess energy the system produces beyond the needs of the campus will be sold back to the utility company.
U Minnesota Duluth to Purchase 100 KW Block From Solar Farm
Three Student Life units at the university are sharing the $213,215 cost of purchasing a 100 kilowatt block of solar electricity from an in-state community solar garden. In return, the units – Dining Services, Housing and Residence Life, and Transportation and Parking Services – will receive annual discounts on their electricity bills.
Second Nature & AASHE to Host Gathering at COP23
Second Nature and AASHE, along with the University of Connecticut and Tufts University, are hosting a reception and networking event at COP23, in Bonn, Germany, on Nov. 14 at the U.S. Climate Action Center. Along with networking, attendees will hear briefly from a select group of speakers about climate leadership programs within the higher education sector.
Radford U Building Earns LEED Gold
The university's College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences building was constructed with materials containing 20 percent recycled content. Ninety-nine percent of the facility’s wood products are Forest Stewardship Council certified. Water usage in the building is reduced through low-flow toilets, sinks and showers, creating an annual savings of about 221,000 gallons per year, and exterior shading helps reduce solar heat gain, which reduce energy use and cost.
Smith College Trustees Approve Responsible Investment Recommendations
At its October meeting, the college's board of trustees adopted four strategic recommendations regarding climate change and the Smith endowment, which are designed to support the college’s commitment to environmental sustainability while also ensuring the continued health of the endowment.
Michigan State U to Test Algae-Based Carbon Capture on Power Plant
With the support of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, university researchers will test a novel technique for capturing power plant emissions while producing high-value chemicals and biofuels with algae. The test will take place at the T.B. Simon Power Plant on MSU’s campus.
Loyola U Chicago and Portland CC Win Climate Leadership Awards
Awarded by Second Nature and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the Climate Leadership Awards recognize advanced leadership in sustainability,
climate change mitigation and resilience. Bristol Community College and Georgia Southern University received Honorable Mentions.
U Maryland Releases Climate Action Plan 2.0
The updated climate action plan that outlines new strategies and priorities to help the university become carbon neutral by 2050 and integrate sustainability into educational and research efforts across campus.
Yale U Implements Carbon Charge for Buildings & Departments
After three years of study, discussion and experimentation, the university has implemented a carbon charge that affects more than 250 buildings and nearly 70 percent of campus carbon dioxide emissions. A university carbon charge pilot program ran from December 2015 to May 2016 in 20 buildings and tested four approaches to reducing carbon.
U Albany Renovates Building to LEED Standards
The $10.3 million project on the 51-year-old residence hall included mechanical, plumbing, electric and lighting systems replacement, new energy-efficient windows, a new roof, new bathrooms, updated laundry facilities, and community study and recreation spaces. Recycled content and low-VOC materials were used.
Georgetown U to Install 32.5 MW of Solar Energy
The university recently signed a power purchase agreement to develop a 32.5 megawatt photovoltaic project in La Plata, Maryland. The project is expected to supply about 49 percent of Georgetown’s electricity load annually for its Washington, D.C., campus. The power plant is expected to be completed in summer 2019.
Monroe County CC Cuts Ribbon on Geothermal System
The $16.1 million ground source heating and cooling system is comprised of 288 wells that are 350-400 feet deep. The community college will save an estimated $275,000 per year over the next 20 years.
U California Riverside Fellows Help Reduce Carbon Emissions
As part of the Carbon Neutrality Initiative Student Fellowship Program, five participating fellows will receive a stipend of $3,000 to fund a project that reduces greenhouse gas emissions produced by UCR buildings and vehicles. An additional student engagement fellow will serve as the initiative’s ambassador, receiving a $4,000 stipend plus $1,000 to fund campus event programming geared toward educating and inspiring other students.
Northeastern U Opens New Science Building
The university’s new science and engineering building features triple-glazed windows to reduce glass condensation and prevent heat loss, variable air volume (VAV) fume hoods, and occupancy-based airflow controls.
Pomona College Releases 2030 Carbon Neutrality Plan
The college's new plan, known as SAVE: Sustainable Action Visible Effects, strives for carbon neutrality by 2030 through energy, water, waste, transportation, buildings, and landscaping and food initiatives. The college intends to reach net-zero carbon emissions without purchasing carbon credits, but rather by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to zero and then offsetting remaining emissions by retrofitting buildings, installing solar panels, investing in off-site renewables and promoting alternative transportation programs. The plan was crafted by the Office of Sustainability and the President's Advisory Committee on Sustainability.
Bucknell U Earns 'Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal' Certification
The recent Performance Excellence in Electricity Renewal (PEER) certification, administered by the Green Business Certification, Inc., recognizes the university for reliable delivery of electricity, reducing the environmental impact of electricity generation, leveraging value gap analysis to identify and eliminate waste, and assessing customer contribution to grid service, investment and innovation. PEER is a framework for continuous energy improvement and performance assessment that leads to greater efficiency, reduction in carbon emissions and greater power quality.
U Kentucky Introduces Car Sharing
University students and staff can now check-out one of two vehicles parked on campus through a university partnership with Zipcar. The car sharing program is part of a suite of alternative transportation options available to the campus community designed to simplify the process of shifting from driving a single-occupancy vehicle to campus to an alternative form of transportation, and to reward those individuals who make the change in their routine.
Colorado College Opens Net-Zero Library
Adding 25,000 square feet, the $45 million renovation also made the building net-zero energy. A geothermal energy field, 115-kilowatt rooftop solar array, 400-kilowatt off-site solar array, green rooftop garden, and 130-kilowatt combined heat and power system contribute to the net-zero energy library. The net-zero energy library recently received a 2017 Innovation Awards from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).
College Marin Switches to 100% Renewable Energy
As of mid-August, all electricity accounts at the college were switched to a 100 percent renewable energy program through a California not-for-profit, public electricity provider. Now the college’s power bills will reflect zero emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity.
Binghamton U Opens Sustainable Building
Features of the new building, which house the departments of chemistry and physics, include photovoltaic panels on the roof to produce electricity, hydronic radiant heating in the floor, controlled LED lighting, individual space monitoring to reduce air flows and energy use, and water-cooled equipment wherever possible to conserve energy.
U Brighton Completes 150KW Photovoltaic Array
(U.K.) Two systems with a combined capacity of just under 150 kilowatts have now been installed at no cost to the university. A third party energy cooperative is leasing university roof space for 20 years. The university will pay the cooperative for the electricity generated by the panels, which will cost approximately one third less than grid electricity. At the end of the lease, the university will take ownership of the panels at no cost and will benefit from the free electricity they generate.
NY Announces $3 Million Clean Energy Competition for Colleges & Universities
New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently launched Energy to Lead 2017, a $3 million challenge to New York colleges and universities to implement clean energy solutions that aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy bills and improve resiliency. Open to two- or four-year public or private colleges or universities, funding awards will range from $250,000 to $1 million per project.
U Nebraska Kearney to Invest $11M in Solar Energy
The university is expected to meet 25 percent of its electrical energy through a new $11 million, 25-year contract for solar energy from a nearby 5.8-megawatt array that is expected to be completed in February 2018. The university anticipates saving more than $250,000 over the next 25 years of the contract.
Florida State U Alumni Donate Solar Array
The newly completed installation, comprised of 12 panels near the Seminole Organic Garden, was donated and installed by three alumni, each with roles in the sustainable energy sector.
Oakton CC Installs 25KW Solar Array
The roof-mounted photovoltaic system on the college's Skokie campus consists of approximately 80 solar panels. The Skokie campus is also home to a test system that is accessible for enrolled students and provides them with hands-on experience working with solar panels.
U Northampton Opens Biomass Energy Facility
(U.K.) The 6.5 million British pound ($8.4 million) facility uses woodchip biomass and gas to provide hot water and heating to buildings around the university's Waterside campus via a 1.6-kilometer district heating network.
George Brown College to Erect a 12-Story Carbon Neutral Building
The planned structure is designed to be a carbon-neutral, tall building made from wood that produces the same amount of energy or more than it uses. The college plans to create a Tall Wood Research Institute to share their experiences, ideas and research in low-carbon, mass timber construction.
Saint Mary's College California Utilizes Solar Trailers
The college now has six mobile solar generators that contribute to exterior lighting and electric vehicle charging. At no cost to the college, each solar generator consists of two solar panels, a backup biodiesel generator and battery storage.
U Notre Dame Connects 145KW Solar Array to Grid
A new 144.72 kilowatt ground-mounted photovoltaic array is expected to generate approximately 194,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This would offset nearly one-third of the total electricity used by the 5.77 acre warehouse to which it is connected.
Western Michigan U Receives LEED Gold for Residence Halls
The Western Heights housing complex includes energy-efficient HVAC and other mechanical systems, occupancy sensors for common areas and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Amenities within the new halls are strategically located in communal spaces to encourage students to have more interpersonal interactions with their peers.
Northland College to Divest From Fossil Fuels
The college's board of trustees voted recently to fully divest the college’s endowment funds from fossil fuels in the next five years. Approximately 2.9 percent of the college’s $28 million endowment is currently invested in fossil fuels listed in the Carbon Underground 200. These investments will be replaced with more socially responsible investments and no new endowment funds will be invested in fossil fuel companies.
U California San Diego Tests Vehicle-to-Grid Charging Platforms
A San Diego-based company will use the university to pilot its new vehicle-to-grid technology, which allows a parked electric vehicle to become part of the electric grid by enabling charging from and discharging to the grid. Drivers will be paid for energy discharged from their car while still being guaranteed the expected level of charge needed to operate the vehicle.
U Virginia Signs 15MW Solar Agreement
Under a 25-year agreement, the university will purchase the entire output of a proposed 120-acre solar facility. It is expected to produce about 9 percent of the university’s electric demand. The university has pledged to reduce its carbon and nitrogen footprints by 25 percent below 2009 and 2010 levels, respectively, by the year 2025.
U Notre Dame Installs Geothermal Wells
By the end of 2017, the university will have completed three geothermal well systems with a total capacity of 7,000 tons, which is approximately one-half of the university’s current peak demand during the cooling season. The three systems together will have the capacity to reduce Notre Dame’s carbon dioxide emissions by 11,803 tons, an 8 percent reduction compared to fiscal year 2016. The return on investment is about 15 years.
U Minnesota Purchases Community Solar
With recent approval from the university's Board of Regents, the Twin Cities campus will purchase 46 million kilowatt-hours of community solar garden subscriptions annually over the next 25 years. By the end of 2018, 14 percent of the university's annual electrical consumption will be tied to community solar, which is a centralized, shared solar electricity facility connected to the energy grid that has multiple subscribers.
U Hyderabad Installs 1MW Photovoltaic System
(India) The newly connected 1,000-kilowatt solar-electric system is expected to reduce electricity costs by 15 percent. The university has set a goal to power 100 percent of campus with photovoltaic electricity.
Delaware Technical CC Completes Multi-Campus Solar Installation
The recently completed solar carport array is the last of nine solar projects at all four Delaware Tech campus locations. The statewide systems include carports, ground mounts and rooftop arrays. The solar arrays are expected to offset approximately 12 percent of the annual total energy needs for Delaware Tech and were funded as part of a 20-year power purchase agreement.
U Sussex Pledges to Cut Carbon Emissions 45 Percent by 2020
(U.K.) Working towards cutting its carbon emissions, the university has begun a multi-million pound program that will install over 3,000 photovoltaic panels, replace 27,000 light bulbs with more efficient LED lighting, improve heating and cooling systems, and install smart metering across the campus.
Delaware Technical CC Completes 1.3 MW Solar Installation
The college has completed the installation of a 449-kilowatt carport and a 296-kilowatt (kW) rooftop array on its Terry Campus and two rooftop arrays totaling 585 kW on the Owens Campus. The four arrays, along with 806 kW of previously installed solar systems, provide approximately 12 percent of the annual energy needs of four of the college’s campuses.
Western Michigan U Earns LEED Platinum on Building Renovation
The university renovated Heritage Hall, which opened in 1905, in an effort to turn the least energy-efficient building on campus into one of the most efficient. The building now contains geothermal heating and cooling, LED lighting, energy-efficient windows and a high level of repurposed historic building materials. The energy-saving elements make make the hall more than 50 percent more efficient than buildings that use more traditional elements.
Madison Area Tech College to Construct 1.4MW Photovoltaic System
The technical college plans to contribute $1.8 million to a grant from a local utility to build a 1.4-megawatt solar photovoltaic system, which is projected to avoid approximately $200,000 per year in electricity costs. The construction and maintenance of the system will contribute to the college's renewable energy curriculum program.
American U Offsets Study Abroad Air Travel Emissions With International Project
The Paradigm Project, an endeavor that benefits communities in Africa by empowering women and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through reduced deforestation, is the university's new investment to reduce emissions from study abroad-related travel. The Office of Sustainability announced that this is the first project in what will be a portfolio of offset investments aligned with certain remaining sources of emissions that cannot be fully managed through efficiency and other mitigation strategies.
U Virginia Launches Environmental Resilience Institute
The new Environmental Resilience Institute aims to accelerate solutions to urgent social-environmental challenges, such as coastal flooding and storm impacts in coastal regions, and water security. The institute will be initially funded with a three-year, $2 million grant from the university, and spearheaded by the offices of the executive vice president and provost, and the vice president for research.
Portland CC Board Passes Divestment Resolution
The community college's board of directors passed a new resolution to divest college funds from socially irresponsible companies and investments, and fossil fuel-producing companies listed in the Carbon Underground 200. The movement to divest was started by student leaders in early 2016.
Queen's U Belfast Announces Responsible Investment Policy
Following recent discussions with the Students’ Union, the university has updated its investment policy and will, with some caveats, seek to disinvest from companies involved in the extraction and production of fossil fuels by 2025. Additionally, the university is implementing a comprehensive Carbon Management Strategy that aims to significantly reduce carbon emissions.
U Colorado Boulder Uses New Steam Process for Weed Control
Grounds personnel at the university are now using saturated steam to control weeds in landscape beds and natural areas. Using an Australian company's patented technology, Weedtechnics, the system helps the university reduce herbicide use and lost workdays due to the traditional weather-dependent weed control method of using chemicals, which can’t be applied when it’s too windy, too wet or too hot outside.