U Notre Dame to Procure Solar Electricity
The university partnered with a power company to purchase 40 percent of the total output from a 22-megawatt solar electric project, which is equal to about 10 percent of the university's overall electrical usage.
I2SL Announces Lab Freezer Challenge Winners
The organizational and individual laboratory winners of the 2020 International Laboratory Freezer Challenge are, respectively, the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Learning and Research Laboratory at the University of Bristol. Honorable mentions include the University of Alabama Birmingham in the organizational category and, in the individual lab category, the BioSpecimen Processing Facility at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the Biology Teaching Laboratories at the University of California Santa Cruz; and the Van Der Pol Lab at the University of Alabama Birmingham. Together, the 2020 challenge participants saved a combined total of roughly 3.2 million kilowatt-hours per year.
Aarhus U Approves 44 Actions to Reduce Emissions
(Denmark) The university recently announced 44 activities to reduce carbon emissions, some of which are waste-sorting pilot projects in study areas, libraries and canteens, electricity meters on IT equipment, assessing the feasibility of solar-electric, and using fixed temperature settings for all university buildings in the winter. The four focus areas of the actions are campus, transportation, procurement and waste.
Austin CC Switches to Solar & Wind Power
The community college district launched its 100 percent renewable energy program with the Texas General Land Office, and now its Round Rock and Elgin campuses use 100 percent renewable energy from wind and solar.
Dumfries Galloway College Launches Sustainable Energy Hub
(U.K.) Called the Green Energy Hub, the new initiative aims to provide practical solutions to the challenges of heating, power and water supply faced by the college as well as creating a valuable teaching tool for students. Technologies of the hub will include a wind turbine, heat pumps, solar arrays, battery storage and electric vehicle charging points.
Northwestern U Research Center Earns LEED Gold
The university's Biomedical Research Center features a vegetated roof, a rainwater collection system, a double-skin facade on the south-facing side to reduce heat and glare, energy recovery wheels in laboratory exhaust and water-efficient fixtures.
Duke U to Purchase 101 MW of Solar Energy
The university will soon bolster its renewable energy portfolio through the purchase of 101 megawatts of solar electricity from three facilities expected to be online by 2022. The purchase is projected to meet about 50 percent of Duke's annual electricity needs.
Environment America Releases Higher Ed Renewable Energy Report
Environment America's newly released report, "America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy 2020: Who Is Leading the Transition to 100% Renewable Energy on Campus?", catalogs the efforts of 127 colleges and universities that reported data through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership. The report lists the top 10 colleges and universities obtaining 100 percent or more of their electricity from renewable sources, with Georgetown University leading all schools, generating and purchasing more than 1.3 times as much electricity from renewable sources as it consumes. It also lists the top five schools for renewable heating, cooling, hot water and other non-electric energy produced per student, with Colby College listed first.
HKUST Announces Large-Scale Solar-Electric System
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) recently announced a renewable energy project that will include the installation of up to 8,000 solar panels at over 50 locations on campus. The system will generate up to 3 million kilowatt-hours of electricity each year. Part of the system will be dedicated as a living laboratory for the university’s faculty and students to test out ideas and projects related to solar energy systems.
Mid-State Tech College Installs Solar Array
Mid-State’s Renewable Energy Technician students recently installed 135 solar panels on the roof of the downtown Stevens Point campus. The array will supply approximately 15 percent of the campus’s energy usage. The project was incorporated into an advanced solar installation course this June and made possible thanks to a Solar on Schools grant the college received from the Couilliard Solar Foundation to purchase the solar panels.
U Hull Enters Carbon Neutrality Partnership
(U.K.) The university recently announced a partnership with Siemens that will create a detailed strategic master plan for carbon neutrality by 2027. Siemens has been commissioned by the university to undertake an evaluation of its energy consumption, focused on reducing emissions and finding new, renewable ways to power the campus. The elements of the plan will include reduction of current energy consumption, energy production using renewable energy, and conversion of the university's campus into a living lab that enables researchers and students to trial new technologies.
Leeward CC Becomes Net-Zero Campus
In addition to reducing consumption through various energy efficiency measures, the campus is now generating 97 percent of its energy through on-site photovoltaic systems, including solar shade canopies and distributed energy storage.
Three Massachusetts HEIs Receive Funding for Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Study
The Massachusetts governor's office recently allocated three awards, totaling $300,000, to Salem State University, and to University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMD) and Lowell (UML). The grant funding is for feasibility studies that will help these three Massachusetts state universities achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
U Minnesota Morris Achieves Electricity Carbon Neutrality
Roughly 70 percent of the campus' electricity is generated by renewable energy–two university-owned, 1.65-megawatt wind turbines and several photovoltaic systems. To achieve carbon neutrality, the campus recently purchased renewable energy credits equal to the fossil-fuel produced electricity the campus uses.
U Pittsburgh Signs Solar PPA for Electricity
Through a new, 20-year solar power purchase agreement, the university will purchase all of the renewable electricity produced by a planned 20-megawatt solar power facility. It will cover approximately 13 percent of the Pittsburgh campus’ annual electricity usage.
Queen Mary U Invests in Energy Efficiency Measures
(U.K.) The university will be installing energy monitoring, enabling remote accessibility and live energy reporting, and LED lighting systems. The changes are expected to cut energy use by 25 percent at its Whitechapel campus.
South Dakota State U Adds 20 KW Photovoltaic Array
In early June, 54 solar panels were installed on the university's Facilities & Services roof. The 20.25-kilowatt solar-electric array provides approximately 18 percent of the total building energy usage.
Paul Smith’s College Receives $60K for Energy Audit & STARS Fellows
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) recently awarded a $56,000 REV Campus Challenge Technical Assistance for Roadmaps grant to the university that will be used to hire third-party energy consultants to assess campus infrastructure and energy use. Additionally, $4,000 in bonus funding will support sustainability fellowship positions for students working on Sustainability Tracking and Rating Systems (STARS) projects.
U Virginia Partnership Increases Adoption of Solar Energy
In an effort to help the state reach its carbon neutrality goal of 2050, the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service has partnered with the state’s Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy to host an advisory program, SolSmart, aimed to help local governments implement and embrace solar energy.
DePauw U Installs Photovoltaic Array
The roof of the university's Indoor Tennis and Track Center now holds 860 photovoltaic panels. More than 40 donors gave toward the installation of the panels, which cost $460,000.
U Toledo Installs 332 KW Solar Array
A new 332-kilowatt photovoltaic array on the university's Health Science Campus is expected to save the university approximately $30,000 per year in avoided electricity costs. A senior student design team worked with the university's Facilities and Construction to identify the site and prepare construction engineering drawings. The Student Green Fund approved spending $350,000 to cover the costs to install the array.
North Carolina State U Installs Thermal Energy Storage Tank
Equivalent to a seven-story swimming pool holding more than 3 million gallons of water, the thermal energy storage tank enables the university to create chilled water for campus buildings at night when electricity rates are lowest and store the chilled water for use during the day when electricity rates are highest. The system is designed to supply chilled water for mechanical systems at more than 20 buildings.
Greenville U Completes Solar Installation
The university's recently completed photovoltaic project will cover approximately 75 percent of the university's electricity needs. The project was feasible thanks to an Illinois renewable energy program that allowed the school to acquire the system at no up-front cost and pay over six years with the money that would have been spent on electricity.
Northwestern U to Support 16 Community Solar Projects
The university recently signed an agreement with a community solar provider to support the development and construction of 16 community solar projects in Illinois, totalling 11.9 megawatts. Additionally, the partnership will provide hands-on experiential learning for students. Community solar allows customers to subscribe to a local solar project, receive credits on their utility bill and reduce their overall electricity costs.
Macquarie U Signs Hydroelectricity Agreement
(Australia) The new seven-year contract allows the university to source hydroelectricity for its North Ryde campus. Under the contract, the university will purchase approximately 54,422 megawatt-hours of electricity per year.
Emory U to Install 5.5 MW of Solar
The university will install more than 15,000 solar panels across 16 buildings on its Druid Hills campus, which will generate approximately 10 percent of Emory’s peak energy requirements. The project is part of a 20-year agreement to install 5.5 megawatts (MW) of solar electricity across campus.
Energy Dept. Announces Solar Decathlon Winners
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon Design Challenge recognized and awarded two grand winners. The winners were University of Oregon in the commercial building division and Miami University in the residential division. The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy.
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.