Trinity College Signs Contract for Climate Plan Development

Under a new partnership between Trinity College (CT), Groom Energy Solutions, and Nexus Environmental Partners, Groom and Nexus will provide Trinity with a multi-year climate commitment plan and will implement facilities upgrades to help the College meet the requirements of the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment. The two companies will provide detailed campus and building energy assessments, energy efficiency facility upgrades, on-site renewable energy installations, and water conservation measures. Nexus and Groom will also work closely with administration, faculty, and student organizations to implement campus wide messaging, training and process change. The companies will also deliver and manage the measurement tools for tracking performance over time.

U Arkansas to Complete Energy Upgrades, Signs Energy Contract

The University of Arkansas has announced plans to begin a campus-wide energy conservation program. The University will begin installing energy-saving projects in 57 campus buildings in December or January. The measures will include installing sensors that regulate lighting and temperature when rooms are not occupied; low-flow bathroom fixtures; more efficient lighting; and more efficient heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems. The upgrades are expected to cost $32.8 million over 13 years, but the University expects the improvements to pay for themselves in energy savings. In related news, UA has signed a $22.9 million energy performance contract with Energy Systems Group to make the energy conservation improvements.

Auburn U Begins Converting Vegetable Oil into Biodiesel

Auburn University (AL) has begun a program to convert used vegetable oil from campus fryers into biodiesel fuel. The AU Biosystems Engineering Department collects the oil from the new Student Center and converts it into fuel. The biodiesel is then used in trucks that transport materials to and from one of the college's rural studios.

Notre Dame, Syracuse U Compete to Reduce Energy

The University of Notre Dame (IN) and Syracuse University (NY) have begun a competition to reduce energy consumption as part of NBC Universal's "Green is Universal" consumer campaign. The two teams, comprised of students, faculty, alumni, and fans from each university, are competing during the month of November in a variety of eco-challenges posed by NBC Universal will donate $10,000 to the rival who can build the largest Carbonrally team. The winnings will support green campus initiative

U Mass Dartmouth Begins Energy Use Reduction Campaign

The University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth Sustainability Office has launched a new campaign to encourage the campus community to reduce the amount of energy used on campus. To launch the five month campaign, the Office of Sustainability held an event at which it announced tips on how students, staff, and faculty can reduce the amount of energy they use in dorms, offices, and on campus.

Florida Atlantic U Unveils Solar Power System

Florida Atlantic University's College of Engineering and Computer Science has unveiled a solar power system on the south side of its building. The system was designed and built as a class project in a solar engineering course, and it controls the solar energy lab’s computers. FAU plans to add on to the system in the future so that all of the mechanical engineering labs operate via solar energy.

Florida Gulf Coast U Begins Construction on 2 MW Solar Farm

Florida Gulf Coast University has begun construction on its 16-acre solar energy farm. The 2 MW farm, which is located on the FGCU campus, will provide electricity for the entire campus. The project is projected to save the institution $22 million in energy over a 30 year period.

Sinclair CC Converts Tractor to Biodiesel

Sinclair Community College (OH) has converted one of its tractors to biodiesel. The College has plans to convert a second tractor as well, and both will be used for grounds work at Sinclair. Sinclair produces its own biodiesel for the tractors.

Southern Utah U Installs Solar Panels

Southern Utah University has installed 35 solar panels on a campus building. The panels were partially funded by a grant from Rocky Mountain Power.

Auburn U Replaces Servers with Green Virtualization Software

The Auburn University (AL) Office of Information Technology (OIT) has begun a project to replace campus servers with virtualization software. The virtualization software acts like hardware and when it is installed on a computer, it allows additional operating systems to run virtually on the physical host computer. OIT has begun installing virtualization on the university servers and run, in some cases, up to twenty virtual serves within one physical server. So far, the University has replaced 140 servers with 7 virtual clusters. As a result, Auburn has experienced a decrease in energy costs.

CSU to Install 8MW of Solar, HSU to Install 300 kW of Solar

California State University, the state of California, and SunEdison have partnered to install 8 MW of solar power on 15 Cal State campuses and the CSU chancellor's office. The power-purchase agreement allows CSU to buy renewable power at or below current retail rates, while avoiding the cost of installing the system. Under the agreement, SunEdison will finance, build, operate, and maintain the solar panels for 20 years. The new solar panels will be installed on rooftops, atop parking canopies, and in ground-mounted arrays. In related news, Humboldt State University has established two solar energy initiatives as part of a joint program with California State University and the California Department of General Services to generate eight megawatts of solar photovoltaic power. HSU will install 300 kW of solar panels on the roof of the University Library and has issued a contract to install a demonstration 12.5 kilowatt photovoltaic panel system on the roof of the Old Music Building. HSU expects to derive $36,000 in cost savings each year from the energy conservation effort. Construction is scheduled to begin in a few months.

EKU Uses Campus Vegetable Oil to Power Recycling Truck

Eastern Kentucky University has announced a plan to renovate its campus recycling truck to run on vegetable oil. EKU plans to obtain the vegetable oil from the Powell Student Center dining hall.

El Paso CC Completes Energy Upgrades, Receives Award

El Paso Community College (TX) has completed energy upgrades to 4 buildings on campus. The College expects to save $250,000 annually as a result of the upgrades. In addition, the College earned the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Award for its sustainable energy and operational efficiency building designs and practices.

EPA Awards 2 Institutions with Green Power Leadership Awards

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Center for Resource Solutions have announced the winners of the 2008 Green Power Leadership Awards. Oregon State University and the University of Pennsylvania both received Green Power Purchaser Awards for Green Power Purchasing and Green Power Partner of the Year respectively. Additionally, the Energy Action Coalition won the Green Power Pilot Award for market development. The Awards recognize the actions of individuals, companies, and organizations that are significantly advancing the development of renewable electricity sources through green power markets. Awards were given in the areas of purchasing, supplying, and market development.

Green Mountain College to Install Biomass Co-Generation Plant

Green Mountain College (VT) has announced plans to construct a biomass co-generation facility. The College estimates that the biomass plant will save GMC over $250,000 per year in heating costs, and will meet about 20 percent of GMC's power needs. The wood chips will be harvested in an environmentally friendly way from local sources, with the intention of encouraging the growth of a local, sustainable wood chip market and the emerging bio-energy economy. GMC intends finance the $3.6 million project through loans and grants, and plans call for the new biomass facility to begin generating heat and electricity by January of 2010.

Notre Dame Completes Dorm Energy Challenge

The University of Notre Dame (IN) has completed its first campus-wide Dorm Energy Competition. During the competition, UND conserved a total of 93,674 kWh, reducing the University’s carbon emissions by 56 metric tons and saving over $4,000 in electricity costs. The winner, Walsh Hall, reduced its electricity use by 31 percent by turning off the bathroom and basement lights during the day, unplugging the vending machines and exercise equipment when they were not in use, and sharing loads in the washing machines and driers. Walsh Hall will receive $500 and an Energy Champion banner.

SUNY Albany Launches Change a Light Campaign

The State University of New York at Albany has launched its "Change a Light" campaign by distributing compact fluorescent light bulbs in residence halls. Old incandescent bulbs were collected as material for an art exhibit at the University Museum this spring.

U New Mexico Adds 4 Biodiesel Buses to its Fleet

The University of New Mexico has purchased four new biodiesel buses for its campus. 100 percent of UNM's buses run on either biodiesel or compressed natural gas.

U Maine Unveils Green Supercomputer

The University of Maine has unveiled a green supercomputer on its campus. The new computer has uses minimal space, has an energy-efficient design, and is accessible in the lab where researchers work. A team of bicyclists powered the 72-processor machine, which uses less than 300 watts of power, during the unveiling ceremony.

U Memphis Renovates Climate Control System

The University of Memphis (TN) has conducted extensive renovations of its campus climate control system to reduce energy usage on its main campus. At a cost of approximately $3.3 million, the University estimates that the system will pay for itself in 15 years and will provide a total savings of over $6 million over its predicted lifespan. Additionally, the University of Memphis earned the Trane Energy Efficiency Leader in Education Awards for its sustainable energy and operational efficiency building designs and practices.

Montana State U Installs 1.9 kW Wind Turbine

Montana State University students, faculty, staff, and volunteers have installed a 50-foot-tall wind turbine on the MSU campus. The 1.9 kW turbine is part of the Montana Wind for Schools program, which will install four similar turbines at schools in Cascade, Fairfield, Livingston, and Stanford in the coming weeks. Students will use the turbines in lessons about alternative energy. The five wind turbines were funded by about $60,000 in grants from Northwestern Energy and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality.

U Colorado, Colorado Springs to Install Solar Thermal System

The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has announced plans to install a 68-panel solar thermal system for pool heating on its new Recreation Center. The new solar thermal system will offset more than 60 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The system will be installed this fall. The Recreation Center is registered for LEED Silver certification.

U Minnesota Morris Dedicates Biomass Gasification Facility

The University of Minnesota Morris has dedicated its new biomass gasification facility. The new facility will use approximately 9,000 tons of biomass per year, which will include local corn residue, wood chips, and possibly grasses to offset roughly 80 percent of UMM’s fossil fuel usage. The University plans to purchase energy sources from area farmers and producers. The new facility is part of the University's plan to be energy self-sufficient by 2010. The project also received one of 12 energy grants from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Energy for $1.89 million to conduct research on carbon sequestration. Additionally, during the dedication ceremony, the American Council on Renewable Energy presented the University with a Campus Excellence Award. UMM received the award for “Outstanding Use of Renewable Energy.

UW River Falls Survey Shows that Students Support Going off the Grid

A recent survey completed by students at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls showed that 95 percent of students support the University's plan to go off the grid by 2012 by lobbying the state for funds. Additionally, 65 percent of students were in favor of raising student tuition to cover the cost of the plan.

3 PA Schools Receive Green Power Awards

Dickinson College, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Pittsburg Medical Center have each received a “2008 Green Power: Turn It On!” award from Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future (PennFuture). Dickinson received the award for purchasing 50 percent of its electricity from wind power and installing a 60-kilowatt solar array. The University of Pennsylvania received the award for purchasing 200,000 MWh per year of its electricity from wind energy. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center received the award for leadership in pursuing environmentally sustainable practices within the healthcare industry and for purchasing 10 percent of its electricity from green energy sources. 26 organizations and individuals in the state received recognition at PennFuture’s ninth annual Green Power Awards ceremony.

California State U Monterey Bay Receives 2 Energy Awards

California State University, Monterey Bay has received two awards for its work in energy conservation. The University was honored with the Monterey County Business Council's Public/Private Partnership award for projects implemented in the last three years which include lighting retrofits, heating and ventilation retrofits and controls upgrades. These projects resulted in an annual savings of 16 percent of the University's electricity consumption and 11 percent of natural gas consumption.

Eastern Kentucky U Expands Energy Efficiency Contract

Eastern Kentucky University has expanded its contract with Siemens Building Technologies to further increase energy efficiency through additional upgrades. An energy audit of EKU facilities revealed an additional $5 million in possible upgrades to energy-intensive systems would yield significantly higher savings. The new $27 million performance-based sustainability contract guarantees EKU will save 24,665,190 kWh of electricity, 1,729 tons of coal, 102,585 cubic feet of water and 138,584 cubic feet of seweage.

Maharishi U of Management Begins Geothermal Pilot Project

Maharishi University of Management (IA) has begun a pilot project to install geothermal technology for heating and cooling older campus buildings. The electricity for the geothermal heat pumps will be provided by solar panels and wind turbines. Following the pilot, the University plans to assess any possible installation problems associated with the retrofits and budget for campus-wide installation. The initiative is part of a broader plan to make the University carbon neutral in order to comply with the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

Auburn U Montgomery Produces Biodiesel

Auburn University at Montgomery (AL) has begun converting cooking oil into biodiesel for use in campus vehicles. The converter, known as the Freedom Fueler, will use cooking oil from the campus lunch counter to make biodiesel.

Dixon U Center to Upgrade Energy and Building Systems

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has announced that the Dixon University Center will undergo a $1.5 million energy and building system upgrade by NORESCO. The upgrade will include improved energy and water efficiency, reduced energy and operating costs, greater system reliability, and improved working and learning conditions for building occupants. Carbon dioxide emissions are expected to drop by more than 930,000 pounds each year as a result of the upgrade.

Humboldt State U Announces 2 Energy Use Reduction Initiatives

Humboldt State University (CA) has announced two new projects, funded by the Energy Efficiency Partnership with California State University and the University of California, that are expected to save almost $60,000 and cut 253 metric tons of campus greenhouse gas emissions annually. HSU will install energy management software to power down computers when they are not in use in labs and in faculty, staff, and department offices. The second initiative will tighten controls on the Wildlife Building’s heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment to reduce energy wasted by aging systems. The two projects are scheduled for completion in mid-November.

Rutgers U Breaks Ground on 1.4 MW Solar Farm

Rutgers University (NJ) has broken ground on its seven acre, 1.4MW solar farm. The farm will generate approximately 10 percent of the electrical demand of the Livingston Campus and reduce the university’s carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1,200 tons per year. Rutgers will fund approximately half the $10 million cost of the project, and the balance will be subsidized by a rebate through the Board of Public Utilities' Clean Energy Program.

Stanford U Installs Solar Panels on President's House

Stanford University (CA) has installed a 40 kW solar array on the house occupied by President John Hennessy. The University received a $84,000 rebate on the $362,000 system from the California Solar Initiative.

Stony Brook to Run Campus Buses Off of Vegetable Oil

Stony Brook University (NY) has started an initiative to convert campus bus engines to run off of used vegetable oil. The project will use leftover vegetable oil from one of the campus dining halls to fuel the buses. Once the project is up and running, the University plans to expand the program to include vegetable oil from other dining facilities on campus.

Syracuse U Changes Temperature Policy to Reduce GHG Emissions

Syracuse University (NY) has changed its temperature policy to conserve energy and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released through the heating and cooling processes. By reducing the temperature of University-occupied spaces by two degrees in the heating season, and raising the temperature threshold one degree in the cooling season, the University will realize an annual reduction of 1,683 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. The new temperature policy for the heating season will have a set point at 68 degrees, and the cooling season set point will be 76 degrees.

Syracuse U, SUNY ESF Partner to Create Green Energy Coop

Syracuse University (NY) and the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry have partnered to create a green-energy cooperative. The student-run project, funded by a grant from the Syracuse Campus-Community Entrepreneurship Initiative, aims to produce biodiesel by the spring 2009 semester that would be sold back to SU and SUNY ESF for use in their vehicles.

Brunswick Community College to Produce Biodiesel from Algae

Brunswick Community College (NC) has announced plans to begin a project to grow enough algae to produce approximately 75 pounds of oil each month. The oil will then be converted into biodiesel to power campus tractors and utility vehicles. The project is being funded by a grant that will also fund six student lab positions.

Harvard U to Install Wind Turbines on Campus

Harvard University (MA) has announced plans to install small-scale wind turbines on top of the Holyoke Center, one of the University's administrative and student buildings. The system is not expected to generate much energy - the project's main purpose is to serve as a symbol of Harvard's commitment to sustainability.

Stevens Institute of Technology to Expand Solar Array

The Stevens Institute of Technology (NJ) has signed an agreement to expand the current 130 kW solar power system on campus. 3rd Rock Technologies will install, own, and operate the new array and will sell the power generated by the panels back to Stevens at a fixed price. Stevens expects the solar panels to make up 11 percent of its energy needs by the beginning of 2009.

SUNY ESF Converts Butter Sculpture to Biodiesel

The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has converted a 900 pound butter sculpture from the New York State Fair into approximately 96 gallons of biodiesel. The biodiesel will be used to fuel a SUNY ESF vehicle.

U Michigan to Cut Utility Costs 10% Though Conservation

The University of Michigan has announced plans to cut utility costs by 10 percent over the next three years at its Ann Arbor campuses by reaching out to faculty, staff, and students in an energy-conservation program called Planet Blue. Planet Blue's goal is to reduce costs by combining energy-saving technologies and building upgrades with behavioral changes from building occupants. The three-year education and outreach campaign will target 90 large buildings.

U Notre Dame Commits to Energy Renovations

The University of Notre Dame (IN) has committed to heating, air conditioning, and/or lighting renovations in 24 older campus buildings during the 2008/2009 academic year. The planned renovations include installing occupancy sensors so that heating, cooling, and lighting only run when buildings are occupied; enhancing ventilation control so that the amount of outside air brought in matches the occupancy level of the building; and putting in more efficient fluorescent bulbs. Notre Dame expects the renovations, which are expected to cost about $4 million, to reduce the University’s carbon emissions by over 4,000 metric tons per year. In related news, ND's Howard Hall has installed compact fluorescent light bulbs in every dorm room.

U Tennessee Knoxville Aims to Reduce Energy Use by 10%

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has launched "Switch Your Thinking," a campaign designed to reduce campus energy consumption by 10 percent this year, a move that would save the University more than $1 million from its campus energy budget. The campaign asks faculty, staff and students to take four steps to reduce the amount of energy consumed by the campus. The four steps include turning off lights when not in the office for more than one hour; turning off computers when not in the office for more

Northern Arizona U Distributes CFLs

Northern Arizona University's Office of Sustainability has distributed 5,000 compact fluorescent light bulbs during its "CFL Swap-out" event. Volunteers passed out CFLs, along with information about cost savings and proper disposal, to on-campus residents to replace inefficient bulbs that students may have brought to campus themselves. Arizona Public Service donated the light bulbs to help NAU get closer to its goal of carbon neutrality by 2020.

NYU Holds Groundbreaking for New Co-Generation Plant

New York University has broken ground at the site of its new co-generation plant. The University expects that the new co-generation facility will lead to a 75 percent reduction of regulated pollutants and a decrease in over 5,000 tons of greenhouse pollutants emitted annually. In addition, the facility will triple the University’s capacity to provide power to its buildings with cleaner energy and will remove these buildings from the local utility grid. The project is expected to be completed during the summer of 2009.

UC San Diego Installs Solar Array

The University of California, San Diego has begun installing a solar electric system on the roof of two of its parking garages. The new system is made up of Solar Trees(TM), solar panels that are placed on steel bars and resemble the shape of a tree, and provides shade for parked cars and future infrastructure for electric vehicles. Each Solar Tree(TM) at UCSD will generate more than 17,000 kWhs of clean energy per year.

U Florida to Use Biodiesel Fuel to Power Pep Rally

The University of Florida has announced plans to power this year's Gator Growl, UF's homecoming pep rally, with biodiesel fuel. The process involves converting leftover cooking oil from campus dining locations into useable biodiesel fuel at the Motor Pool, a division of the Physical Plant. Generators hooked up to the audio and lighting equipment will run off the biodiesel, which is cleaner than pure diesel and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Western Michigan U, Kalamazoo Valley CC To Install Wind Turbines

Western Michigan University and Kalamazoo Valley Community College have partnered to install a Wind Energy Center on the KVCC campus. The Wind Energy Center, which will include multiple wind turbines, will serve as a model wind turbine site and provide educational opportunities to KVCC students. KVCC plans to develop installation and maintenance certification programs for technicians and WMU will focus on product design and manufacturing programs for undergraduate students.

ACUTA Survey Finds 2/3 of College IT Depts Are Going Green

The Association for Information Communications Technology Professionals in Higher Education has completed a survey that found that two-thirds of colleges and universities have taken or are taking energy-saving and environmentally conscious steps. The survey found that 80 percent of schools recycle computer and networking equipment; 73 percent of schools have bought more efficient equipment; and 63 percent of schools have implemented a policy that aims to reduce the amount of printing done on campus.

Bentley College Signs Agreement to Reduce Energy Use

Bentley College (MA) has made an agreement with Infor to monitor and reduce energy consumption throughout campus. Bentley is currently gathering data on the energy efficiency of its campus-wide assets, including air handlers, chillers and other large equipment, which will be used to develop a preventative maintenance program that incorporates energy consumption patterns.