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.
Colorado State U Pueblo Goes 100% Solar-Electric
In mid-August, the university announced that all university buildings were being powered by energy from the sun. This was made possible through a power purchase agreement that included the installation of a 23-acre solar array on the north side of campus and a rechargeable battery system.
Washtenaw CC to Source 100% Renewable Energy
The community college recently announced a green power partnership with its electric utility. The partnership commits the college to an escalating enrollment that will begin in 2023 and increase annually with the college sourcing 100 percent of its electric power needs through clean energy by 2029.
Lafayette College to Connect 470 KW Solar Electric Array
Installation of a 470-kilowatt photovoltaic array began on June 1 on the roof of the college's Kirby Sports Center. The project will provide experiential learning opportunities for students through integration of the project into courses.
Georgia Tech Connects 1.4 MW Microgrid
The university and Georgia Power recently celebrated the opening of a 1.4-megawatt microgrid, designed to provide clean power locally while also serving as a living laboratory for Georgia Tech, industry and government researchers. The microgrid will provide Georgia Power with insight into how smart energy management systems can interact with the grid to achieve optimal energy use. The installation includes fuel cells, battery storage, diesel generators and a natural gas generator, and it is adaptive to new and additional distributed energy resources.
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.
Northwestern U & U Chicago Receive EPA Energy Star Award
Northwestern University was honored with the Partner of the Year: Sustained Excellence award for the second year. The University of Chicago received the Partner of the Year award for the first time. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Energy Star Partner of the Year awards recognize institutions and organizations for their year-over-year commitment to energy efficiency.
U Virginia Uses HVAC Systems to Cull Spread of COVID
A group of specialists at the university recently began studying how best to use heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems to limit the spread of COVID-19 virus. They are focused on three areas: HVAC enhancements, such as the use of filters and increased ventilation; mitigating airborne transmission based on new research and technologies; and serving as a resource to the campus community about airborne transmission and HVAC mitigation.
Luther College Connects Solar Array
A new solar array that includes a battery storage system will provide 10 percent of the college's current electricity consumption. Luther is leasing the land and will purchase power from the facility over the next 10 years.
Vanderbilt U to Purchase 25 MW of Solar Energy
Through the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Green Invest program, the university has contracted to be a 25-megawatt co-subscriber to a Tennessee solar farm scheduled for completion in 2023.
U Sheffield Pledges Carbon Neutrality
(U.K.) As part of its recently released five-year sustainability strategy, the University of Sheffield pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions on campus by 2030 and across all activities by 2038. The strategy also includes plans to embed education for sustainable development into all courses.
Maine HEIs Join Renewable Energy Consortium
Bowdoin College, Colby College, the Maine Community College System, Maine Maritime Academy, and the University of Maine have joined with 18 other Maine businesses, schools and towns in signing long-term energy contracts with 33 new renewable projects in the state.
U Virginia Launches 'Energy Transition Initiative'
The Energy Transition Initiative is a merger between the University of Virginia’s Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service's Virginia Clean Energy Project and its Virginia Solar Initiative. The new collaboration aims to analyze energy systems to identify roadblocks and reduce barriers to achieving a net-zero carbon electric sector by 2050, and to promote informed, engaged and inclusive decision-making.
Georgetown U Signs Renewable Energy PPA
A new 15-year agreement allows the university to buy 100,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually from 11 existing solar plants. Georgetown will purchase the electricity from the solar facilities without the associated renewable energy credits (RECs), and through a second financial transaction, purchase Green-e certified RECs through a broker for an equivalent amount of power for the first five of the 15-year agreement.
U California San Diego Receives $39M for Renewables Integration Research
The National Science Foundation recently awarded $39 million to a team of engineers and computer scientists at UCSD to build a testbed to better understand how to integrate distributed energy sources, such as solar panels, wind turbines, smart buildings and electric vehicle batteries, into the power grid. The goal is to make the testbed available to outside research teams and industry by 2025.
Colorado State U Signs On-Campus Solar Agreement
The university recently signed a formal agreement with two companies to identify campus site feasibility for installation on rooftops, carports and ground mounts. Construction and installation is slated to begin in the first half of 2021 with project completion set for late 2022. Photo by William A. Cotton/CSU Photos.
U Virginia Publishes Sustainability Plan
The university’s new plan, the 2020-30 Sustainability Plan, includes these goals: carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel-free by 2050; reducing waste to 30 percent of 2010 levels by 2030; reducing the nitrogen footprint by 30 percent by 2030; partnering to advance equity; building accountability in leadership; and enhancing sustainability research. The plan also provides seed funding for sustainability projects.
College Redwoods to Install 2.1 MW Solar System & Battery Storage
The College of the Redwoods board recently approved a proposal for a 2.1-megawatt photovoltaic system with an additional 500 kilowatts of battery storage that will cover about three acres of open field space on campus, about a third of campus parking, and the roof of the Learning Resource Center. The energy generated by the system is expected to provide about 90 percent of the campus’s electricity demands.
U Wisconsin Madison Places Solar Panels on Arboretum
The university's Arboretum Visitor Center will soon house an array of 66 photovoltaic modules that are projected to produce 32,300 kilowatt-hours in the first year of operation. The solar energy system will cover about eight percent of the arboretum’s current energy needs, resulting in a projected $3,750 decrease in annual electricity cost.
EPA Honors 2020 Green Power Leadership Awardees
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and Madison Area Technical College as winners in the Direct Project Engagement category. Saint Louis University won in the Excellence in Green Power Use category. The Direct Project Engagement Award recognizes partners that distinguish themselves through direct project engagement using a variety of financing structures to access green power. The Excellence in Green Power Use Award recognizes partners that distinguish themselves by using green power in amounts that exceed the minimum benchmark requirements, or where the partner can demonstrate a distinct market impact through innovation, communications and stakeholder engagement.
College Lake County Adds Solar Electricity
The college will soon add photovoltaic panels on two acres of land on the west side of campus and on six buildings. Once complete, the college will receive nearly 20 percent of its electricity needs from the solar installations.
Cornell U Students Build Solar-Charging Trailer for Landscaping Equipment
Members of the university's Sustainable Design student group recently delivered to the grounds department a 7-by-12-foot trailer that will cart and power electric string trimmers, hedge clippers, chainsaws and an electric, heavy-duty commercial mower. The trailer will help Cornell reduce carbon emissions while raising awareness of its environmental initiatives, aimed at helping the campus achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.