(U.K.) The university recently adopted a 1.5 degrees science-based target for carbon reduction, committing itself to reduce its energy-related carbon emissions to absolute zero by 2048, with a 75 percent decrease on 2015 emissions by 2030. Cambridge’s target is focused on scope 1 (direct emissions from university-owned or controlled sources) and scope 2 (indirect emissions from the generation of purchased energy) emissions. Targets are provided by the Science Based Targets Initiative and the International Energy Agency.
The college's NX building was recently awarded with the Zero Carbon Building - Design Certification by the Canada Green Building Council. A zero-carbon building is highly energy-efficient and offsets the annual carbon emissions using renewable energy. The retrofit focused on making the building envelope insulated and air-tight, and included upgrades to the lighting, heating and cooling systems and a new 25-kilowatt solar-electric system.
The artificial plant, nicknamed the Solar Flower, was installed in front of the university's cultural center and is sized at 2,500 watts, nearly enough power to meet the majority of the cultural center's needs. The project was funded through the Student Leadership for Environmental Action Fund (LEAF), which is a student fee that brings in $1 per enrolled credit, and up to $10 per student per semester.
Two new roof-mounted solar photovoltaic installations on buildings located on the Medford/Somerville campus will generate 161,000 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy for the university and surrounding community and are expected to save the university approximately $187,000 over the next 20 years. One array was installed on Lewis Hall, a residence hall, while the other was installed on the Science and Engineering Complex.
A solar array on the university's Thomas Hall was completed in May, featuring 186 370-watt photovoltaic panels. The cost of construction and installation was approximately $125,000 and has a payback time of less than 15 years.
The university's Village Center Dining and Community Commons is a 113,225-square-foot student hub featuring an aeroponic garden, a rooftop photovoltaic array, electrochromic glass windows, a biodigester, a bicycle-powered smoothie station, and LED lighting throughout. An efficient irrigation system for the native and adaptive landscaping plants coupled with water-efficient fixtures in the building is expected to result in more than 450,000 gallons of reduced water use each year.
(Mexico) The university recently announced plans to install two solar photovoltaic systems of 1.2 megawatts in total at its Mexicali and Tijuana campuses. The 2,873 panels in Mexicali will generate enough power to cover around 50 percent of the campus’ electricity needs. The campus in Tijuana, where the installation already began, will have a total of 226 panels on its premises.
Beginning this summer, the university will install roughly 2 megawatts of solar electricity across 18 DU buildings, including two new buildings opening in 2020. The panels will account for an estimated 7-8 percent of DU’s energy consumption.
By 2021, the college will have switched its east and west sides of campus from steam to hot water with the aid of geothermal bore fields. The geothermal transformation across campus will reduce Carleton’s energy use by 40 percent and its emissions by 15 percent compared to the current steam plant operation.
A new partnership will allow the university to purchase net-metering credits from local community solar. Combined, the sites will include a 500-kilowatt array. The university is not responsible for insurance, maintenance or other obligations with regard to the solar project itself.
The university aims to offset about 35 percent of the electricity of proposed new residential buildings using photovoltaics. The proposed residential expansion project, which will allow all first-year and sophomore students to be housed on campus or in affiliated housing, was designed in alignment with the university's Climate Action Plan.
The university's new commitment to the U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework aims to reduce emissions in sports operations and tap the popularity and passion of sport to engage of fans in the effort. The U.N. Sports for Climate Action Framework has two overarching objectives: to achieve a clear trajectory for the global sports community to combat climate change and to leverage sports as a unifying tool to drive climate awareness and action among global citizens. Signatories of the framework commit to five core principles–undertaking systematic efforts to promote greater environmental responsibility, reducing overall climate impact, educating for climate action, promoting sustainable and responsible consumption, and advocating for climate action through communication.
In an effort to support, foster and accelerate research, the university and the San Diego-based Center for Sustainable Energy recently signed an MOU assess the regional and global commercial potential of clean energy strategies that contribute to the U.S. transition to a low-carbon economy and to secure additional funding for projects. An overarching aspect of the collaboration will be to target greenhouse gas reduction projects that advance the goals of existing programs focusing on climate change.
The university will soon break ground on a two-megawatt solar-electricity project on an eight-acre plot once used as athletic practice fields. The college is purchasing the array by using tax-exempt bond proceeds. The project is estimated to provide $125,000 annual savings to the college after project expenses.
SUNY Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson recently announced that The State University of New York is joining forces with New York state’s energy agencies to launch the Clean Energy Roadmap, which will accelerate progress toward Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030. The roadmap calls for electricity from renewable sources and increased energy efficiency.
A new collaborative effort between the Office of Sustainability and the Department of Engineering & Energy called the Green Labs Program serves as a resource for labs to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations.
The University of California system recently completed its month-long competition, Cool Campus Challenge, in which campuses compete to reduce their carbon footprint. UC Berkeley had the highest total points; UC Merced has the greatest percent participation; and UC San Francisco was the health location with highest points. A surge on the final day of competition helped push the total participants to over 22,000 students, staff and faculty from across all 10 University of California campus locations and the University of California Office of the President.
To date, a 15-year project with Schneider Electric has generated $21,276,086 million in avoided costs and reduced campus-wide utility consumption by 43 percent. The savings came from replacing HVAC equipment, updating hot water heaters, water fixtures and the chiller plant, installing new energy management systems, and retrofitting campus lighting.
The university will soon lead an offshore wind program, bolstered by a $3 million investment by Ørsted and Eversource, the team behind the Revolution Wind project, which is an effort to support offshore wind education and development. The university will partner with other institutions in the state to support workforce development needs, develop educational curricula, and provide a depth of academic and research expertise.
The new campus project involves replacing the outdated steam heating system with a more efficient hot water system, called a low-temperature hot water (LTHW) system, which operates at a temperature of 150° Fahrenheit, creating hot water but not steam. By lowering the temperature, in addition to creating a safer environment for facilities staff, heat lost during transportation of hot water will be cut to 14 percent. Once fully installed, the system is projected to reduce campus carbon emissions by 50 percent.
The college's new energy plan includes cost-effective energy procurement, valuable infrastructure upgrades and renewable energy generation. Six campus buildings will host a combined total of 711-kilowatts of solar electric. Each will receive a full roof replacement at no upfront cost to the college prior to the solar installations.
The recently released report from Environment America Research and Policy Center indicates that more than 40 colleges and universities obtain 100 percent or more of their electricity from renewable energy sources. Based on AASHE STARS reports submitted between 2016 and 2018, the report also found that 88 percent of the 261 campuses that reported campus fleet details have at least one electric vehicle. The publication provides recommendations for transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy and tactics for reducing carbon pollution.
The 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 billion kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Eight of the top 30 institutions are meeting 100 percent (or more) of their electricity demand with green power.
Now in its third year, PepsiCo Recycling's Zero Impact Fund allows representatives or employees of eligible colleges or universities to submit proposals to create or strengthen sustainable initiatives on campus. Winners receive up to $10,000 towards making those ideas a reality. There are 27 colleges and universities receiving funding for campus sustainability initiatives in the 2018-19 school year.
The for-credit experiential learning program called RESET (Renewable Energy Student Engagement Team) explores engineering, policy and business aspects of solar projects. In mid-April, the 19 students that comprise the cohort pitched to senior university leadership a feasible solar-electric project on five buildings. The proposal would add 120 kilowatts of solar-generating capacity and have a cost avoidance of $500,000 during the 20-year life of the arrays.
Vanderbilt University unveiled a comprehensive long-term strategy on Earth Day 2019 to significantly reduce its environmental footprint, in part by powering its campus entirely through renewable energy, putting the university on track to be carbon neutral by 2050. The university plans to meet its 2050 commitment by investing in on-site clean energy and off-site large-scale renewable energy, increasing green spaces across campus such as pedestrian-friendly walkways and parks, reducing energy consumption and waste, decreasing the university’s carbon footprint from transportation and commuting, and investing in sustainable built environments.
The new 12.5-kilowatt solar electric array was recently installed on the fourth floor rooftop of the Business Instructional Facility addition. The new array will supply enough power to offset anticipated energy use of the fourth floor addition by contributing approximately 15,500 kilowatt-hours per year. The Student Sustainability Committee funded roughly half of the $116,290 project.
The university has entered into a 15-year agreement to supply its campuses with more than 250,000 megawatt-hours of solar power per year, meeting roughly two-thirds of its overall energy needs with solar power. The university will purchase the power and project-specific RECs from a new 175-megawatt solar plant being developed in Virginia.
Reaching its goal of zero net carbon emissions 31 years ahead of its 2050 target date, the university achieved neutrality through on-campus renewable energy and energy-efficiency upgrades, purchasing carbon offsets in projects with a focus on environmental justice, reducing waste, and supporting a diversity of transportation options with lower carbon impact.
The U.S. Department of Energy recently announced winners of its Solar Decathlon Design Challenge, comprising 10 contests, in which student teams design highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy. Virginia Tech was the grand winner. The primary goals of the competition are to advance building science curricula in university programs across the country and inspire students to continue careers related to cutting edge high-performance building design.
In addition to their recent investments in carbon offsets for heating, cooling, and employee travel, the university will now purchase 100 percent renewable energy, making it carbon neutral in the year of its bicentennial.
The 2019 Energy Star Partner of the Year Award recognizes the university’s achievements in energy efficiency, including efforts to accurately track energy usage data and measure progress in reducing consumption. Northwestern’s notable accomplishments include completing a comprehensive building energy consumption audit of all 222 campus buildings and implementing a new dashboard system that supplies key departmental contacts across campus with monthly utility consumption reports.
Benton Hall features a passive house design with high-performing windows, occupancy sensors and daylight-responsive light dimming. Stone was sourced within a 500-mile radius and 75 percent of its construction waste was recycled or salvaged.
Construction is underway on a 1.9-megawatt solar electric project that will add arrays to six university buildings. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the fall 2019. A new interdisciplinary program allows students to use the project as a case study to learn about the business, policy and engineering aspects of the solar industry.
The university's Sherrod Library now dons a 62.6-kilowatt photovoltaic array. The solar array project cost approximately $150,000 and was funded by the $7-per-semester Campus Sustainability Fee paid by ETSU students.
(U.K.) East Sussex College recently completed a community-funded solar-electric project that will supply approximately 72 percent of the college's electricity. Partial funding came from local residents who will receive a 5 percent per year return. The array will generate a community fund over its 25-year lifespan that will be used by the college for renewable energy education and community projects.
The university's School of Medicine building now features a green roof planted with native and adaptive plants, a cistern water collection system, high-performance glazing on the south façade, natural ventilation, high-efficiency flush fixtures, low-flow sinks, secure bike storage spaces and shower facilities.
A recent $79 million renovation of the historic building includes energy-efficient heating and air conditioning, high levels of daylight for natural lighting, occupancy sensors and continual energy monitoring. More than 76 percent of the construction waste was recycled. The building was able to reduce its water usage by at least 20 percent. The project also received high marks for using an existing site, having convenient access to public transportation and incorporating bicycle parking.
The university's redesign of its downtown campus was a $64-million project, with $4 million earmarked for specific green features, including ground-source heating and cooling, photovoltaic electricity tied to a 180-kilowatt battery bank, and a 6,600-gallon underground cistern that will capture and treat rainwater for toilet and urinal flushing.
The university's board of trustees approved a 25-year lease agreement for a 74.9-megawatt, grid-tied photovoltaic project to be constructed at its Agricultural and Environmental Research Station. The solar facility would occupy between 600 and 800 acres of property and feature approximately 270,000 tracking solar panels.
The Canadian Federal government recently announced that it will be investing up to $1.8 million in support of the university’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. With the investment, McGill plans to upgrade its heating equipment and distribution system.
The 18.5-kilowatt solar-electric system will power a floor of the library and all of its outside lights. The library was chosen as the location for the solar panels because it has a lot of roof space and the panels will be easily seen.
The University of California, Berkeley's chancellor recently signed a memorandum of understanding committing the Berkeley campus to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. This commitment covers purchased electricity as well as energy used for transportation and heating.
The College of Saint Benedict, the University of Minnesota Morris and the University of St. Thomas have been selected to participate in Ever-Green Energy's pilot program: Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality. As part of this pilot program, the institutions will receive free energy and carbon neutrality planning services over the next year that will help them map out plans, evaluate feasibility and lay out next steps.
Called New York Campuses’ Aggregate Renewable Energy Solutions (NYCARES), the newly formed consortium is comprised of 21 private and public higher education institutions and is working towards a goal of purchasing or producing electricity from 100 percent zero-net-carbon sources.
The university's home for the Tepper School of Business features a 120,000-gallon cistern to collect rainwater for reuse and the floor of its four-story atrium uses radiant slabs to heat or cool the space.
The university recently announced a partnership to develop a 70-megawatt solar-electric project that is estimated to provide 25 percent of Penn State’s state-wide electricity requirements over a 25-year term. The project will be ground-mounted using over 150,000 solar panels in three locations encompassing roughly 500 acres. The targeted completion date is set for July 2020.
The university's Donovan Dining Center and the Student Union now house a 110.9-kilowatt solar system. The $300,000 project is expected to save the college more than $231,000 in energy costs over the next 15 years, and is expected to generate 132,502 kilowatt-hours in the first operating year.
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