U New Mexico to Install Solar Array on Library
A joint effort between the Associated Students of UNM and UNM’s Facilities Management has resulted in approval of a $400,000 solar array to be built atop the university's Zimmerman Library. With an estimated peak output of 429 kilowatts, the solar array is expected to meet the electricity needs of the library. Any surplus electricity will be fed onto the grid. The university is expected to save $25,000 per year in avoided costs for electricity.
Cornell U Connects 18 MW Solar Farm
In mid-January, the university flipped the switch on its largest solar project, totaling 18-megawatts. The new solar farm will generate approximately 20 percent of Cornell’s electricity use.
Arizona State U Achieves Carbon Neutrality
The university has recently achieved net zero greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations, six years earlier than its commitment of 2025. Increased energy efficiency in both new buildings and campus retrofits; on-site solar generation; renewable energy purchases from large-scale, off-site generation facilities; and purchase of carbon offsets and renewable energy were deployed. The carbon neutrality commitment date for emissions related to commuting and air travel is 2035.
Allegheny College Becomes Carbon Neutral
Allegheny set a goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2020 as part of a climate action plan adopted by the college’s board of trustees in 2010. Three key efforts contributed to the college’s achievement of this goal: reducing emissions through implementing efficiency measures; decarbonizing energy sources by shifting from fossil fuel to renewable energy; and offsetting emissions through projects that offset or remove carbon.
U Pennsylvania Signs 220 MW Solar PPA
Consisting of two contracts, the agreement will result in two new solar energy facilities with combined capacity of 220 megawatts, which will produce an estimated 450,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually. The purchased electricity will be equal to approximately 75 percent of the total electricity demand of the academic campus and Penn Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Dickinson College Achieves Carbon Neutrality
Dickinson recently achieved its carbon neutrality goal by cutting its greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent from 2008 levels and purchasing carbon offsets to mitigate the remaining emissions. From 2020 forward, all the activities included in the college’s carbon footprint—like heating and cooling the campus, use of vehicles and air travel—will result in zero net emissions of greenhouse gases.
Cornell U Releases Lab Shutdown Procedures
The university recently released a set of guidelines to assist lab managers in quickly identifying energy-saving measures to be implemented during the COVID-19 crisis.
Stony Brook U & U Massachusetts Amherst Win Energy Award
The two universities were recently highlighted as Customer Project Award winners of the 2020 Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Awards for exemplary use and implementation of innovative technologies and progressive practices that reflect new approaches to energy procurement and management. Stony Brook won for its data analytics platform and UMass Amherst was recognized for its 1.3-megawatt battery storage.
Emory U Receives Energy Dept Smart Labs Award
In the fall, the university received the Accelerating Smart Labs Award for Program Development and Implementation from the U.S. Department of Energy for having developed a comprehensive strategy based on the goals of the Smart Labs program. Some strategies include identifying lab energy conservation measures, estimating savings, seeking funding to expand the program, and starting to implement projects in seven of its lab buildings.
Utah State U Approves Recommendations to Lower GHG Emissions
The university recently committed to the following strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions: dedicate $60,000 annually in ongoing funds to allow USU Facilities to purchase a renewable energy portfolio from an external power provider; facilities will invest $500,000 each year toward improving building energy efficiencies, and additional funding has been allocated within existing budgets for LED light conversions over the next two years; create a $10 per trip carbon fee on all university-sponsored airline flights, from which funds raised by this fee will be used to invest in on-campus projects that reduce USU’s carbon footprint; and enhance academic programs to raise awareness of sustainability and climate change.
Cornell U Signs PPA for 1 MW Rooftop Solar
In December, Cornell finalized a 1-megawatt power-purchase agreement to construct rooftop solar arrays on all five buildings of the North Campus Residential Expansion project. The solar power from this project will reduce the university’s carbon footprint by providing about 35 percent of the power needed for the new buildings.
Four Pennsylvania HEIs Partner on Renewable Energy Purchase
Lehigh University and Dickinson, Lafayette, and Muhlenberg Colleges recently signed a 15-year power purchase agreement for the production by a 45.9-megawatt share of a new 200-acre solar farm located in Texas. The partnership will enable all four institutions to mitigate 100 percent of their carbon emissions associated with electricity use.
U Pittsburgh Bradford Residence Hall Earns LEED Silver
The university's newly certified Alexander House features renewable energy, high-efficiency HVAC systems, water-efficient plumbing fixtures and low-VOC furnishings. The building has bike storage for students and parking places for electric vehicles.
U Pittsburgh Renovation Receives LEED Silver
Clapp Hall, the building that houses the department of biological sciences, features energy-efficient lighting, water-saving plumbing fixtures, a demand-control ventilation system and a lab exhaust energy-recovery system. More than 95 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills, 90 percent of existing building elements were reused, and 36 percent of building materials were regionally manufactured. Clapp Hall also has bike storage and changing rooms for commuters.
Michigan State U to Install 20 MW Solar Array
The university's board of trustees recently approved a 20-megawatt solar-electric array that will span nearly 145 acres. The project is expected to cost about $2.3 million and will be funded with university utility reserve funds. It is estimated that the array will begin producing power by the end of 2022 and save the university at least $27 million in the next 25 years.
EPA Releases Top 30 List of Green Power Users
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Top 30 College & University list highlights the largest green power users among higher education institutions within the Green Power Partnership. The combined green power use of these organizations amounts to more than 3.5 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually.
William & Mary Signs Power Purchase Agreement
The recently signed 20-year power purchase agreement is for the output of a 20-megawatt photovoltaic system that is projected to generate approximately 50 percent of the university’s electricity needs. The production of solar energy at the farm will likely begin in 2021. William & Mary expects the contract will begin to save the university money after about six years.
Colorado College Achieves Carbon Neutrality
The college recently achieved carbon neutrality through a variety of initiatives that include efficiency upgrades, building renovations, campus engagement initiatives, on-site renewable energy, local renewable energy purchases, and carbon offsets.
Columbia U Staff Complete Energy Efficiency Training
Forty-five Columbia residential operations and maintenance staff completed the 30-hour New York City Building Operator Training program to help improve energy efficiency of residential buildings and reduce operating costs. The curriculum provides participants with energy and resource conservation techniques related to a building’s heating, electrical and water systems.
Marymount Manhattan College Purchases 100% Renewable Energy
The college now purchases all of its power from renewable sources. Additionally, after consulting with an energy and water management company, the college has installed a building management system for heating, cooling and electricity, and installed energy-efficient windows in its Carson Hall.
Ohio U Building Scores LEED Gold Certification
Ellis Hall, a 115-year-old building, was recently renovated and now features LED lighting, low-flow toilets and sinks, new insulation, new windows, and an energy-efficient heating and cooling system. Exterior landscaping includes drought-tolerant trees and shrubs.
U Iowa Enters Public-Private Energy Partnership
The University of Iowa recently received approval from the board of regents to enter into a 50-year, nearly $1 billion partnership with Engie North America and Meridiam. Under the agreement, the university will maintain ownership of the UI utility system and Engie will perform all operations with respect to steam, cooling, water and electricity. Engie and Meridiam will work with the university to ensure that the university meets its goal of being coal-free by Jan. 1, 2025, if not sooner; that sources of renewable fuels and incorporating sustainable, lower-cost fuel options into the existing utility systems will be explored; and that experiential learning and research opportunities are available to students, faculty and staff.
Selkirk College Installs Solar Array
In October, the college installed a solar array on the roof of the library that includes 275 panels with the capacity to produce an estimated 112,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year. The project will produce approximately 10 percent of the electricity needed on an annual basis at the college's Castlegar campus.
Pace U Installs Solar Tree
The new tree-shaped design holds seven solar panels and is nearly 15 feet tall, providing seating for six, wireless internet, six USB ports and an interactive display.
15 Collegiate Teams Selected for Marine Energy Competition
The U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office recently announced 15 collegiate teams to embark on the first-ever Marine Energy Collegiate Competition. This competition challenges interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of programs to develop new marine energy solutions.
Shenandoah U Connects 500KW Photovoltaic System
The university now boasts a rooftop solar power system that is shared across three buildings. The university expects to save a total of $3.1 million in avoided costs for electricity from producing its own solar power over the 35-year lifespan of the equipment.
Smith College Tests Ground-Source Energy Exchange System
A $30,000 grant aided the college in drilling a 1,000-foot-deep vertical borehole and connect it to a ground-source heating and cooling system. The system will be used for faculty research, coursework and co-curricular initiatives to determine the feasibility of using this technology to reduce the college's greenhouse gas emissions.
Cornell U Undergoes Lighting Upgrade
The Cornell Energy Conservation Initiative recently completed a multi-phase comprehensive lighting upgrade earlier this year that replaced lighting in indoor and outdoor spaces with LED bulbs. With the project fully completed, the new lighting reduces the campus carbon footprint by nearly 3 percent annually. The upgrades, which began in 2014, have a cost avoidance of $2.9 million-to-date.
Auraria Higher Education Center to Complete 779 KW Solar Array Installation
A 779-kilowatt solar array installation atop the Auraria Library is nearly complete. It will supply 2.5 percent of the annual campus-wide power consumption. The 150-acre Auraria Campus serves the Community College of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, and the University of Colorado Denver, a collective population of approximately 43,000 students, faculty, and staff.
Colorado State U Purchases RECs
The university recently purchased enough renewable energy certificates to offset 25 percent of the total electricity use for the university, while university Housing and Dining Services bought enough to offset 100 percent of the electricity use in their buildings, including residence halls and dining areas, for the 2019 fiscal year.
Eastern Kentucky U Professor Brings Solar Energy & Research to Campus
An assistant professor in the chemistry department recently launched a plan for the university to lease around 1,000 solar panels from a local business owned by an EKU alum. The project will add solar energy to the grid while providing educational research platforms for students.
Thammasat U Initiates Rooftop Solar & Plastic Elimination
The university is installing a 10-megawatt photovoltaic system that is projected to generate approximately one-third of the electricity it consumes. Additionally, all convenience stores on the campus will stop using single-use plastic containers and will discontinue using plastic bags on January 1, 2020.
Vassar College Board Endorses $13M Carbon Neutrality Plan
In mid-October, the college's board of trustees endorsed a $13-million package of renovations and upgrades to the college’s heating system and other energy-saving projects that altogether is expected to reduce Vassar's carbon footprint to less than 25 percent of its benchmark year emissions. The plan calls for retrofitting all lighting fixtures with LED bulbs; upgrading the central boiler to use renewable fuel oil; upgrading the HVAC in several buildings; and an energy awareness campaign.
Sierra College Dedicates 2 MW Solar Array
The 2-megawatt solar parking canopy structure plus energy storage system will provide electricity to the campus over a 20-year term. The project is expected to meet 60 to 65 percent of the Rocklin campus' electricity consumption.
Grinnell College Signs 4 MW Solar Contract
The college recently signed a 20-year power purchase agreement for a 4-megawatt, single axis tracker photovoltaic system. The project is expected to save around $3 million over the 20-year contract and to reduce the college's carbon footprint by 18 percent.
20 UK Universities Partner to Purchase Wind Energy
(U.K.) Twenty universities in the U.K. have signed a joint power purchase agreement to buy electricity from wind farms across Scotland and Wales for $63 million (50 million British pounds). The 10-year deal ensures the cost stability of electricity while simultaneously reducing the universities' carbon footprint.
Environment America Launches Higher Ed Energy Campaign
To kick off Campus Sustainability Month, Environment America Research & Policy Center launched 30 campaigns in 11 states, pressing colleges and universities to generate 100 percent of their energy from renewable sources. The initiative aims to get 150 schools to commit by 2021 to exclusively use renewable energy.
Carnegie Mellon U Enters Multi-Year Wind Energy Agreement
After more than a decade of offsetting 100 percent of its electric power consumption with renewable energy certificates, the university recently entered a series of multi-year wind energy agreements. Under the agreements, the university will source all of its electricity from a wind farm in Illinois and will secure the renewable energy certificates from the project.
Northwestern U to Launch Master’s Degree in Energy & Sustainability
The university will welcome its first class in fall 2020 of the Energy and Sustainability Master of Science degree program. Led by the Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern, the program seeks to prepare graduates to navigate the intersection of technology, economics and regulation in the sustainability and energy innovation industries.
U Illinois Urbana-Champaign to Purchase 20 GWH of Solar Electricity
The construction of a new 12.1-megawatt solar farm that was recently approved by the university's board of trustees is projected to generate approximately 20 gigawatt-hours (20,000 megawatt-hours) annually. The university will be the sole buyer of the electricity, almost tripling the university’s existing on-site renewable energy generation. As part of the agreement, the university will receive the renewable energy certificates.