U Sydney to Switch to 100% Renewable Electricity

(Australia) The university recently signed a five-year contract to deliver electricity from photovoltaic panels to cover 100 percent of its electricity use. The contract begins July 1.

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.

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 Pittsburgh Publishes Inaugural Climate Action Plan

The University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh campus published recently its first Climate Action Plan outlining its strategy, approach and details to achieve carbon neutrality by 2037.

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.

U Surrey Enters Renewable Energy Partnership

(U.K.) The university recently announced a strategic partnership that will significantly increase the on-site renewable energy generation from 0.1 percent to 20 percent of total annual demand.

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.

MIT Initiates the Energy Systems Research Center

Working with energy partners, the new research consortium, the Future Energy Systems Center, aims to address the climate crisis and the role energy systems can play in solving it. The center investigates the emerging technology, policy, demographics and economics reshaping the landscape of energy supply and demand, then conducts integrative analysis of the entire energy system.

St. John’s U Receives $1.8M for Decarbonization Initiatives

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently awarded $1,792,750 to the university to help fund two specific decarbonization projects—chilled water generation and domestic hot water generation.

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.

Iowa State U Approves 900 KW Solar Farm

The Iowa board of regents recently approved a motion to proceed with the development of a 900-kilowatt solar farm. Under the public-private partnership, Iowa State will receive renewable energy credits generated by the solar farm, which will offset a portion of the university’s annual carbon emissions.

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.

Cornell U to Connect 408 KW Solar Electric System

Two newly opened residence buildings will soon be partly powered by photovoltaic energy.