U Calif Riverside Gifted $10 Mil for Electric Energy Research

Winston Chung, a Chinese executive who invented a special lithium battery, has donated $10 million to the University of California, Riverside. The donation will be used to create a long-term endowment for the Bourns College of Engineering. The annual interest of this endowment, estimated at about $500,000 annually, will be spent to advance research for electric vehicle batteries. This donation will immediately be put to use by establishing the Winston Chung Global Energy Center at the university and two endowed professorship positions.

U Washington Approves $78K Proposal to Expand Campus Farm

The Campus Sustainability Fund committee at the University of Washington voted unanimously to approve a $78,306 proposal to expand the campus farm. A part of the funding will initially fund student internships, but over time, the farm director says the university hopes that profits will pay for student interns. Another portion of the funding will purchase an additional acre to increase production. The farm also plans to increase its capacity to engage students with experiential learning, academic credit and food.

Brandeis U Funds Green Student Initiatives

Five student-initiated sustainability ideas at Brandeis University (MA) have been awarded financing through the university's new Sustainability Fund. The fund was established last year by a campus-wide referendum that received the required two-thirds student votes. The vote authorized an increase of $15 a year in student activity fees to be dedicated to student-proposed environmentally friendly projects. The $47,000 collected this year will be spent on Smart Meters to monitor electricity use at select campus buildings; cold frames to increase the size and utility of the campus garden; the installation of a micro-turbine to be part of an energy-efficient lighting pole system; an extension of the campus bike program to allow for semester-long rentals and the expansion of the bike repair shop; and the installation of vermiculture bins in a residence hall.

College of Southern Idaho Receives $4.4 Mil for Alt Energy Center

The College of Southern Idaho will receive a $4.4 million federal grant for its planned Applied Technology and Innovation Center. With the objective to train Idaho's growing alternative energy sector workforce, the 29,600-square-foot center will feature solar photovoltaic and wind energy components, exposed mechanical systems, geothermal heat, and measurement and verification equipment to be used in its curriculum.

Southern Illinois U Carbondale Approves Green Fund Projects

Southern Illinois University, Carbondale has approved 12 projects for funding this spring with $209,811 from its Green Fund. Generated by a student green fee, the money will fund projects including the installation of water bottle refilling stations and improving lighting efficiency. The goal of the fee is to promote energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and sustainability on campus.

U Mississippi Awarded Grant for Solar Panel Installation

The University of Mississippi has received a renewable energy grant from the Mississippi Development Authority to install 414 photovoltaic solar panels on the roof of its Center for Manufacturing Excellence. Generating roughly 90 kilowatts of electricity, this is will be enough to power the lights and air conditioning in the building. The $529,395 grant was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and the center matched it with $176,465 in university funds. When completed in spring 2011, students and faculty will be able to monitor the building's energy usage and solar power generation through the center's website.

Dickinson College Receives Grant to Raise Cattle for Dining Hall

Dickinson College (PA) has received a $13,545 grant from the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council to turn its 18-acre section of farmland, currently used for crop production, into pasture to raise livestock through rotational grazing. The college farm will work with the dining hall to incorporate the grass-fed beef cattle into the menu.

U Illinois Chicago Debuts Sustainability Scholars Awards

The University of Illinois at Chicago's Office of Sustainability has awarded its first Caterpillar Sustainability Scholars awards. Four undergraduate students have received $1,000 tuition scholarships in recognition of their demonstrated involvement in sustainability issues, financial need and status as underrepresented in their respective fields of study.

Yale U Launches Sustainability Microloan Fund Program

Yale University (CT) has announced a new Sustainability Microloan Fund, managed by its Office of Sustainability. The fund will encourage university students, staff and faculty to come up with creative ideas to be considered for short-term loans. Microloans, ranging from $500 to $100,000, will fund projects that help save both money and the environment, but might not qualify for regular operating funds. Potential projects will be assessed for financial and environmental benefit, feasibility, innovation and interdisciplinary/interdepartmental cooperation.

Calhoun CC Receives $3.4 Mil Grant for Clean Energy Program

Calhoun Community College (AL) has received a $3.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to launch a clean energy program. The Alabama Center for Excellence in Clean Energy Technology will train students for green technology jobs including photovoltaic systems, renewable energies, heating and air conditioning systems and electricity. The program will offer an associate degree and two short-term certificates.

U Ottawa Receives $136K Toward Campus Cooling Plant Retrofit

The University of Ottawa (ON) has installed an upgraded cooling plant that is expected to reduce electricity consumption by 25 percent and save the university $145,000 in annual electricity costs. The university recently received $136,000 toward the project for its participation in Hydro Ottawa's Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program, which provides partial funding to institutional, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers who complete energy efficiency retrofit projects. The new power plant is part of the university's seven-year Resource Optimization Program, a $12 million investment that is expected to save the university $2.5 million annually by 2015.

U Pennsylvania Selects Green Fund Grant Recipients

The University of Pennsylvania has selected seven new sustainability projects to receive support from the university’s Green Fund. The new projects include electric charging stations for car sharing vehicles, a marketing upgrade for the Green Acorn business certification program, an organic compost tea program and the installation of LED lighting in 12 classrooms. An initiative of the university's Green Campus Partnership and funded by the Division of Facilities and Real Estate Services and the Office of the Provost, the Green Fund was designed to seed green ideas from students, faculty and staff with one-time grants of up to $50,000.

West Chester U Receives $5 Mil Energy Grant

West Chester University (PA) has received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to fund the third phase of its 10-year plan to convert heating and cooling systems of roughly 25 campus buildings to a geothermal system. Once the project is completed, the closed-loop underground system will include 1,200 wells and 20,000 feet of piping. The university expects the system to reduce campus heating bills by 40 percent and cooling costs by 20 percent.

Purdue U Receives $1.2 Million Grant to Promote Organic Farming

Purdue University (IN) has received a $1.2 million, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to promote organic farming in Indiana. The university will focus on increasing information on organic farming practices and identify potential economic and marketing obstacles and opportunities for organic farmers. The grant will also help start a student farm on about three acres west of campus.

North Shore CC Launches Environmental Studies Scholarship

North Shore Community College (MA) has announced the establishment of a green scholarship to assist students enrolled in its new environmental studies program. The scholarship was initiated by the New England Biolabs Foundation, a private foundation whose mission is to foster community-based conservation of landscapes, seascapes and biocultural diversity, because a large percentage of North Shore Community College graduates stay to live and work in the local community.

United Negro College Fund Awards 23 Green Planning Grants

The United Negro College Fund Institute for Capacity Building has awarded 23 green planning grants totaling $240,000 to assist with institutional sustainability planning for minority serving institutions. The grant will also encourage the institutions to participate in the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). The program seeks to ensure that future campus construction is certified under the LEED program and will offer training, technical support, networking activities and resources for minority serving colleges and universities committed to sustainability.

North Carolina State U Awarded $1.2 Mil in Energy Grants

North Carolina State University's Utilities and Engineering Department has been awarded $1.2 million for energy projects and fellowships through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The university will add 10 fellowships that will focus on synergy projects among its Energy Management Office, FREEDM Systems Center, University Sustainability Office, NC Solar Center and Advanced Energy to help launch energy programs on campus and in North Carolina. The remaining funds will go toward energy conservation measures on campus like the installation of energy-efficient lights.

Merced College Awarded Grant for Renewable Energy Program

Merced College (CA) is one of nine community colleges and high schools that will share a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish the California Regional Consortium for Engineering Advances in Technical Education (CREATE) Renewable Energy Regional Center. The four-year grant will create and expand courses and work force training programs to help address the high demand for renewable energy technicians in California.

Midterm Election Results Could Slow Higher Ed Green Initiatives

The results of the midterm elections could mean a slowing of higher education sustainability projects, says a recent post in The Chronicle of Higher Education's Buildings & Grounds blog. President Obama's economic-stimulus bill included about $75 billion toward the higher education sector in areas like campus renovations, student loans, federal work-study programs, technology, climate research and green job training. Job training, says the post, may be the kind of project most at risk in the new political climate. With the possible halt in devising a comprehensive federal policy on energy and fossil fuels, industries and institutions may avoid planning decisions based on occasional efforts like the stimulus package.

Elon U Trustees Establish 56-Acre University Forest

The Board of Trustees at Elon University (NC) have voted to preserve a 56-acre undeveloped tract near the university as a dedicated natural area to be known as the Elon University Forest. The action protects the largest remaining intact forest in the area, safeguarding thousands of species of plants, animals and other organisms, according to the university. More than half of the forest area contains old-growth trees, some estimated to be 200 years old.

Indiana U Receives $1.1 Million for Green Research Projects

Indiana University has received $1.1 million from the National Science Foundation for two research projects in environmental science. The first project, Spatial Interactive Optimization for Restoration of Upland Storage in Watersheds, will receive $410,000 over three years. Researchers will study water management practices for the purpose of designing more efficient upstream water management systems on agricultural lands in response to local climate variability and long-term climate change. The second project will study farmers’ interactions with local environments in Zambia and how they survive periods of drought through different types of coping strategies.

Santa Clara U Launches Frugal Innovation Initiative

The School of Engineering and Center for Science, Technology and Society at Santa Clara University (CA) have teamed up on a campus frugal innovation initiative. Frugal innovation focuses on providing products and services in emerging, underdeveloped countries with an emphasis on environmentally friendly practices and the spare use of low-cost raw materials. The initiative includes a collaboration with the university's Leavey School of Business to address needs for emerging markets through what is known as "lean entrepreneurship."

Voorhees College Receives $40,000 in Grants for Green Initiatives

Voorhees College (SC) has received $40,000 in grants for sustainable initiatives on campus. A $20,000 grant from the United Negro College Fund will enable the college to develop and carry out projects to reduce energy consumption. A technical assistant grant from the South Carolina Energy Office is designed to conduct energy assessments on 17 facilities and buildings on campus.

Clemson U Gifted $2 Mil for Sustainable Development Endowed Chair

Clemson University's (SC) Center of Economic Excellence in Sustainable Development has received a $2 million gift to endow a chair in the sustainable development field. Gifted by former Bechtel Corp. senior executive and 1969 Clemson mechanical engineering graduate Tom Hash, the position will help develop new sustainable technologies and encourage smart growth. Focusing on areas where the natural and built environments meet, research will aim to produce tools and products to better monitor, manage and protect the environment while allowing for continued economic growth and development.

Cornell U Receives $80 Mil from Alum for Sustainability Center

Cornell University (NY) has announced an $80 million gift from 1960 graduate David R. Atkinson to create a permanent campus research center that will be a focal point for sustainability-related activity on campus, including education, operations, outreach and research. The gift builds on the success of the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future, established in 2007, which is now renamed the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. Its current research projects include index-based insurance products for poor herders and farmers and for pre-financing of emergency response by humanitarian organizations; technology for bio-based energy and feedstock production; and exploring the impacts of climate change, biodiversity loss, invasive species and pollution from the perspectives of population genetics, modeling, biogeochemistry, economics, environmental sociology and microbiology.

Northeastern U Receives $8 Mil for Renewable Energy Research

Northeastern University's (MA) Center for Renewable Energy Technology has received six federal grants totaling more than $8 million to conduct research that will focus mainly on increasing the availability and affordability of electric cars in the marketplace. Among the grants is a four-year, $6.38 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to develop a cost-effective and energy-efficient non-platinum based fuel cell catalyst for electric vehicles. The new technology would replace internal combustion gas engines with fuel cells.

Oberlin College Receives $1.1 Mil Grant for Energy Assessments

Oberlin College (OH) will administer a $1.1 million federal award secured by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur that will be used to conduct a comprehensive, district-wide assessment of energy infrastructure and alternative energy transmission. Under the guidance of the National Energy Technology Laboratory, the college will study solar energy feasibility and sustainable energy opportunities for the city of Oberlin as well as potential options for converting the college's current central heating plan to biomass or another alternative energy source.

Cuyamaca College Receives $400K Grant for Green Job Training

Cuyamaca College (CA) has received a $400,000 grant to offer free courses to unemployed and underemployed people who are looking for careers in landscaping and water conservation. The courses lead to certificates and prepare students to pursue credentials for jobs in landscape irrigation and water use efficiency. The program grew out of a grant from the San Diego Workforce Partnership, a job development initiative.

Humboldt State U Awarded $15K to Further Hydrogen Energy Ed

Humboldt State University's (CA) Schatz Energy Research Center has been awarded an additional $15,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy for its Hydrogen Energy in Engineering Education program. The center received $395,000 to develop the program, which, in partnership with the University of California, Berkeley, provides hands-on hydrogen energy education to engineering students in the California State University and University of California systems. The initial funding paid for the development of curricula and equipment including bench-top electrolyzer/fuel cell experiment kits. The extra $15,000 will go toward the development of 30 more experiment kits.

Loyola U Chicago Sells Biodiesel Fuel, Funds Biofuel Outreach

The Loyola University Chicago Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy’s Biodiesel Program has been licensed by Illinois state and federal authorities to produce and sell its biodiesel fuel. The program has received the approval of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, Internal Revenue Service, Illinois Department of Revenue and the National Biodiesel Board. The university’s first customer is The Free Enterprise System, Inc., a company that runs the university’s shuttle service between campuses. The company will eliminate the use of nearly 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel every year. The university will also sell the lab’s BioSoap, made from the byproduct of the biodiesel fuel production, at its campus stores and select retailers across Chicago. Editor's Note: Zach Waickman, lab manager for the biodiesel program, tells AASHE that the money from the sales is used for the continued operation of the lab and for a high school outreach project that implements biodiesel and sustainability education into the existing curricula. The university offers the labs, lab tours, guest speaking, classroom help and loan equipment free of charge from its biodiesel sales.

U California Los Angeles Receives $6 Mil for Nanotechnology Inst.

The University of California, Los Angeles has received a $6 million grant from the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology to construct the Western Institute of Nanotechnology on Green Engineering and Metrology. Engineering students and researchers will study advanced energy conservation technologies for microelectronics and nanotechnology in the building, which will incorporate sustainable design elements and feature 35,000-square-feet of laboratory space.

U California San Diego Partners for Energy Optimization Project

The University of California, San Diego and smart grid company Viridity Energy have received a $1,660,000 grant to improve solar deployment using the university's microgrid. The project, funded by the California Public Utilities Commission, will employ an autonomous, real-time dispatch of distributed energy resources to integrate large volumes of photovoltaic-produced energy into the university’s microgrid. The project will aim to overcome technology and regulatory barriers to enable wide-scale deployment of distributed solar generation.

U Montana to Build $16 Mil Biomass Boiler

The University of Montana has received a $180,000 grant from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the U.S. Forest Service toward a $16 million wood-fired biomass boiler. Most of the work will be financed using bonds for energy and conservation projects. The industrial-sized biomass gasification operation will reduce the campus’ natural gas consumption by 70 percent. The university intends to use forest waste and will contract with logging companies to collect branches, bark and leaves left behind after timber harvesting. The boiler is expected to pay for itself within 15 to 17 years.

U Wisconsin River Falls Receives Funding to Study Wind Turbines

The University of Wisconsin, River Falls has received funding from the Wisconsin Division of State Facilities to investigate the feasibility of wind turbines that could potentially produce nearly 50 percent of the energy used by the campus. The study will take a look at wind resource availability, site civil engineering requirements, electrical interconnection requirements and approval requirements for a potential turbine site.

Arkansas Schools Receive Renewable Energy Research Grants

The Arkansas Science and Technology Authority has received a $20 million grant to study renewable energy. The five-year grant from the National Science Foundation will be bolstered by $4 million in matching funds from the state of Arkansas. Researchers at Arkansas institutions will study wind, solar and bio-based energy sources. Participating in the research is Arkansas State University, University of Central Arkansas, Philander Smith College, and University of Arkansas, who will receive $8.7 million over the next five years to establish two new energy research centers that will focus on different aspects of solar cell technology.

Monroe CC Receives Grant for Solar Field

Monroe Community College (MI) has received a $3 million grant for a solar field. As part of a 20-year agreement between the college and DTE Energy to provide renewable energy from the sun, a 500-kilowatt photovoltaic system will be placed on the east side of the campus. The college is the first institution to take part in DTE Energy's pilot program, SolarCurrents, which provides rebates for solar energy installations.

National Science Foundation Awards Water Sustainability Grants

The National Science Foundation has awarded higher education grants through its Water Sustainability and Climate solicitation with the goal of understanding and predicting the interactions of Earth’s water system with climate change, land use, the built environment and ecosystem functions. Institutions who received grants include: Florida International University; Utah State University; University of Texas at El Paso; Michigan State University; University of Minnesota, Duluth; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Idaho; Northern Arizona University; Michigan Technological University; University of North Texas; University of Michigan Ann Arbor; University of Maryland; University of Wisconsin-Madison; University of Arizona; and University of New Hampshire.

Pennsylvania Institutions Receive Energy Research Grants

The Energy Commercialization Institute has awarded a total of $510,000 to university-based research projects in Pennsylvania. Researchers at Temple University’s College of Engineering will collaborate with researchers from Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania and Villanova University. The grant will support the development of new technologies that will build Southeastern Pennsylvania’s alternative energy infrastructure. Temple University and Drexel University will collaborate to develop methods for the efficient and large-scale production of hydrogen. Temple will also work with researchers from the other universities on the large-scale fabrication of printable hybrid solar cells.

U New England Receives Grants for Energy Improvements

The University of New England (ME) has received three grants totaling more than $238,000 in funding for energy improvements. The grants include $154,160 for building automation and energy management upgrades for greenhouse gas reductions, $50,000 for a solar hot water system and performance monitoring display, and $37,347 for parking lot LED lights to reduce energy consumption. The university’s sustainability office applied for the grants, which will be administered by the Maine Public Utilities Commissions Energy Programs Division.

Palm Beach State College Receives Grant for Solar Panels

Palm Beach State College (FL) has received a grant from Palm Beach County's Economic Development Office to purchase and install solar panels on the newly-constructed Technical Education Center. The 34,000-square-foot center has already received LEED Gold certification and will receive solar panels specially designed for the building’s breezeway. Students will have the opportunity to assist in the installation process.

U Utah Business Students Launch Socially Responsible Venture Fund

The University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business has announced the creation of its independent student-run venture capital fund. The University Impact Fund will focus on socially responsible investing, with a particular focus on companies solving social and environmental problems. Graduate and undergraduate students from any discipline, and from several different universities, will be able to participate in the new program.

Grand Valley State U Approves Sustainability Fund

Grand Valley State University (MI) has approved a sustainability fund. The Sustainable Community Reinvestment Fund will provide grants and loans for projects that add value to the community. Grants will be available for students to assist with sustainability projects and programs. Faculty, staff and departments can apply for loans to be repaid as savings to the department accrues. Previously, university funding was provided through the Sustainable Mini-Grants program, which will be absorbed into the Sustainable Community Reinvestment Fund next month.

North Central Missouri College Receives Grant for Green Programs

North Central Missouri College has received a $470,831 Training for Tomorrow grant to expand the curriculum and facilities of its agriculture and natural resources programs. Certificate and associate degree programs in alternative agriculture and renewable energy will be available. With the additional gift of 138 acres of farmland, the college plans to create the new Barton Farm Campus to house the programs.

Clark U Receives $1 Mil Stimulus Grant for Green Cooling Tech

Clark University (MA) has received a $1 million stimulus grant toward Machflow Energy, Inc., a small start-up created by a Clark physics professor that is focused on green cooling technology. The company has built prototype models of a device that will provide clean and more effective cooling in a range of commercial uses, such as electric car batteries and computers.

U Maryland Creates Sustainability Fund

The University of Maryland has launched the Campus Green Fund. The $200,000 sustainability grant will be given to students, faculty and university-based organizations that want to take action to reduce the university's carbon footprint while educating the student body about ways to become more sustainable. Students will be charged eight dollars in student fees to fund the grant.

Alfred State College Awarded Renewable Energy Center Grant

Alfred State College, Wellsville (NY) has received $500,000 in federal funding for a renewable energy technical training center. The center will be used to build additional model installations with complete monitoring systems, utilizing geothermal, solar and small wind projects. The center will promote economic development with alternative ways to provide energy for homes, businesses and farms.

College of the Canyons Receives National Science Foundation Grant

College of the Canyons (CA) has been awarded a four-year grant totaling $3 million from the National Science Foundation to establish a renewable energy regional center. The center will create and expand courses and workforce training programs to help address the high demand for renewable energy technicians throughout the state. Funding will also go toward developing renewable energy programs and workforce training at the consortium's partner colleges, which include Cuesta, Cerro Coso, Allen Hancock, Santa Barbara City, L.A. Pierce, Moorpark, Oxnard, Merced and Porterville community colleges.

Colorado State U Earns Grant for Solar Array

Colorado State University has been awarded a $15,000 grant from New Energy Economic Development funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The grant will be used for the installation of a 206-kilowatt thin-film solar array on campus and solar energy education kiosk.

Owens CC Receives Renewable Energy Grant

Owens Community College has been awarded a $96,000 Renewable Energy Grant from the Ohio Department of Development to advance the college's alternative and renewable energy initiatives. The grant will be used to offset the installation costs of the college's recently installed 120-foot wind turbine.

U Minnesota Receives $8 Million for Wind Turbine Installation

As part of an overall $24 million grant for institutional wind research from the U.S. Department of Energy and wind trade groups, the University of Minnesota has been awarded $8 million to install a 2.5-megawatt wind turbine in December. The turbine will provide university officials with an opportunity to study energy capture and operational capabilities. The university also hopes to create undergraduate courses focusing on wind energy and renewable energy technologies.