U Arizona Tops Parking Garage with Solar Panels

The University of Arizona has topped one of its main parking structures with 1,150 solar panels. The installation of the panels, which were attached at a 10-degree slant on a recycled steel framework, will provide the University with 200 kilowatts of electricity and will also provide shade to vehicles parked under the panels. The panels cost the University nothing to install and are owned and maintained by the local utility company under the condition that the University will purchase all the electricity produced.

U Illinois Receives Energy Efficiency Funding

The University of Illinois has received more than $848,000 from Governor Pat Quinn to increase energy efficiency on campus. The funding will be used to install energy wheels to stop warm air from leaving many new and renovated buildings; insulation on steam pipes; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls; exhaust controls; and geothermal systems. The University expects to save $1 million annually as a result of the energy investments. The $848,000 is a portion of the $100 million federal stimulus dollars allocated to the state of Illinois by the Department of Energy.

Syracuse U Opens Green Data Center

Syracuse University (NY) has completed its new Green Data Center. The $12.4 million, 12,000-square-foot facility uses an innovative on-site power generation system for electricity, heating and cooling, and incorporates IBM’s latest energy-efficient servers, computer-cooling technology and system management software. The Center is anticipated to use about 50 percent less energy than a typical data center. The SU GDC features an on-site electrical tri-generation system that uses natural gas-fueled microturbines to generate all the electricity for the center and cooling for the computer servers. The center will be able to operate completely off-grid. The project is seeking LEED Silver certification.

U Toronto Athletic Center Installs Solar Hot Water Heater

The University of Toronto (ON) Athletics Center has installed 100 rooftop solar collector panels to supply nearly 25 percent of the heat for the building's showers and laundry facilities during peak sunshine months, substantially reducing natural gas use throughout the year. The initiative first took shape as a student project in 2006, when Faculty of Applied Sciences undergraduate Ashley Taylor evaluated the feasibility of installing solar collector panels at the location. Now employed full-time by the University's sustainability office, Taylor worked with the facilities and services division on campus to see the project through to completion.

Western Wisconsin Technical College Turns Out Soda Machine Lights

Western Wisconsin Technical College has turned out the lights in all campus soda machines in an effort to reduce energy consumption. The initiative is part of WWTC's commitment to reduce its carbon footprint.

William Paterson U to Install 3.5 MW Solar Array

William Paterson University (NJ) has reached an agreement with Nautilus Solar Power and SunDurance Energy to install a 3.5 MW solar array. The project, which will include the installation of solar panels on the rooftop and parking lot of the campus, will initially aim to generate three megawatts of solar power with the completion of its first phase this summer. The second part of the project, which will add another 500 kilowatts, is currently scheduled to go online sometime in 2011.The school estimates that it will save $4.3 million in energy costs over the next 15 years.

Chronicle of Higher Ed Covers Pressure Faced by Coal Campuses

The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an article on the pressure faced by coal-burning campuses to convert to renewable fuels. Higher education institutions mentioned include: Pennsylvania State University; University of Wisconsin, Madison; Binghamton University (NY); University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; University of Southern California; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Duke University (NC); Virginia Tech; Ohio State University; University of Manitoba; and Ball State University (IN).

Cornell U Sets Goal to Become Coal-Free

Cornell University (NY) has finished a new Combined Heat and Power Plant, which uses mainly natural gas, that will help the institution move away from using coal by mid-2011. The plant will not only provide electricity, but the extra heat will be used to keep buildings warm. The new plant is expected to reduce the University's carbon footprint by almost 30 percent.

Southwestern U to be Powered 100% by Wind

Southwestern University (TX) has signed an agreement with the City of Georgetown that will enable the institution to meet all of its electric needs with wind power for the next 18 years. Wind-generated power will be provided by the City of Georgetown through an agreement with AEP Energy Partners, a subsidiary of American Electric Power. The electricity will come from the Southwest Mesa and South Trent Wind Farms in West Texas. These two wind farms have a total of 151 wind turbines, each of which can generate between 0.7 to 2.3 megawatts of electricity.

Yale U Installs Thin Film Solar System

Yale University (CT) has installed a 22 kw thin film solar system on one of its dormitories. Traditional solar cells are made from silicon and are usually flat-plated and bolted to the roof at a 45 degree angle. Second generation solar cells are called thin-film solar cells because they are made from amorphous silicon or non-silicon materials such as cadmium telluride. Yale will gather data over time and compare the new system's energy yield to conventional panels already in place on campus to better assess the technology’s fit for the campus. The brand new system is expected to provide roughly three to five percent of the building’s annual electricity consumption.

Bristol CC, Gordon College Receive Grants for Wind Energy

Bristol Community College and Gordon College have received grants to study the feasibility of wind energy on their campuses. BCC received $65,000 to investigate the possibility of installing a 1.5 MW turbine generator to help offset energy costs for the College. Gordon College received $53,000 to evaluate the feasibility of installing a one MW turbine. The study will include an analysis of turbine performance at the site including wind resource assessment, financial analysis, and site feasibility analysis and a permitting plan. The funds were distributed by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Central College Receives $250K for 25KW Solar Array

Central College (IA) has received a $250,000 State Energy Program grant to assist the College with its technology demonstration category project to install a 25 kilowatt photovoltaic array, which will be located on top of the education and psychology building. The array is expected to provide approximately four percent of the building's energy needs. Renewable energy information will be described on the building’s kiosk.

Colorado State U Dedicates 2 MW Solar Farm

Colorado State University has dedicated a two-megawatt operation that will help keep the University’s utility rates stable and affordable during the next 20 years. The solar power plant, owned and operated by Fotowatio Renewable Ventures, features more than 8,000 panels that cover 15 acres of the University’s Foothills Campus. The panels rotate to track the sun’s movement. The project received a rebate to offset construction costs.

U Arizona Tops Parking Garage with Solar Panels

The University of Arizona has topped one of its main parking structures with 1,150 solar panels. The installation of the panels, which were attached at a 10-degree slant on a recycled steel framework, will provide the University with 200 kilowatts of electricity and will also provide shade to vehicles parked under the panels. The panels cost the University nothing to install and are owned and maintained by the local utility company under the condition that the University will purchase all the electricity produced.

U Illinois Receives Energy Efficiency Funding

The University of Illinois has received more than $848,000 from Governor Pat Quinn to increase energy efficiency on campus. The funding will be used to install energy wheels to stop warm air from leaving many new and renovated buildings; insulation on steam pipes; heating, ventilation, and air conditioning controls; exhaust controls; and geothermal systems. The University expects to save $1 million annually as a result of the energy investments. The $848,000 is a portion of the $100 million federal stimulus dollars allocated to the state of Illinois by the Department of Energy.

Bristol CC Makes Efficiency Upgrades

Bristol Community College (MA) has made a number of energy efficiency changes to one of its buildings that will result in monetary savings. Changes include more efficient lighting, better insulation and windows, and the addition of 420 solar panels. The renovations will save the College about $442,000 a year.

Campuses Celebrate Holidays with Green Initiatives

Several campuses have employed eco-friendly initiatives to celebrate the holidays this year. Initiatives include using LED lights on evergreen trees, powering LED lights with solar energy, and encouraging campus employees who chose to decorate their offices to use eco-friendly lights.

Dartmouth Receives $330K for Campus Energy Monitoring Project

Dartmouth College has received a $330,936 grant from the New Hampshire Green House Gas Reduction Fund to help implement a Campus Energy and Sustainability Management System. This new system, which will measure and monitor energy use around campus, will help the College reach its goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2030. The Campus Energy and Sustainability Management System at Dartmouth will be implemented over the next several months, starting with the buildings that have the highest energy use. By the end of one year, an array of approximately 250 building energy meters will be tied in to the system, and software will help detect inefficiencies in system operations. The grant award will be matched by funds at Dartmouth.

Harvard U Buys Wind Power

Harvard University (MA) has agreed to purchase more than 10 percent of its energy from a new 17-turbine wind farm. The Stetson Wind II facility will begin generating electricity by the middle of 2010 and Harvard will be purchasing half its power.

Minnesota Campuses Launch Carbon Reduction Initiative

The Minnesota Schools Cutting Carbon initiative, which started earlier this year, has encouraged staff and students at several Minnesota colleges and universities to reduce campus energy use and carbon emissions. Students at the University of Minnesota, Duluth screwed in 50,000 new LED light bulbs in the school's Ordean Court as part of the initiative. The Schools Cutting Carbon program is a three-year effort by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Minnesota Office of Energy Security, and Clean Energy Resource Teams. All 103 participating schools received $500 grants to conduct energy audits to calculate their carbon footprints and began mini-projects and activities to start cutting carbon and draw awareness to the problem. Now the schools are competing for about a dozen $20,000 grants to put their bigger ideas to work.

Mount St. Mary’s U to Host $60 Million Solar Project

Mount St. Mary’s University (MD) has partnered with Constellation Energy to be the site of a $60 million solar project as part of the state’s Generating Clean Horizons initiative. The project will place solar panels on 100 sunny acres of the University’s campus and produce 15.9 megawatts of power, 1.2 of which will return to the University.

North Carolina State U Announces Winter Shutdown

North Carolina State University has announced plans to set back its heating and lighting systems for more than 200 buildings over the holiday break in an effort to save a substantial amount of money and reduce the amount of carbon being expelled into the atmosphere. Facilities Operations will turn down the thermostat for the time period between Thursday, December 24, 2009, and Monday, January 4, 2010. The University is asking employees to do their part before they leave for the holiday break by making sure all office equipment in their department is turned off and unplugged.

San Diego State U Powers Pool with Solar Energy

San Diego State University (CA) has installed a 124-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array at its Aztec Aquaplex. The new array completely powers the complex, which is the most energy intensive facility on campus. In addition to the solar array, the facility installed new water pumps that are 70 percent more energy efficient.

U Michigan Student Entrepreneur Plans to Recycle Used Cooking Oil

The University of Michigan has announced the winners of its 1,000 pitches contest. Over 2,000 student entrepreneurs submitted their innovative ideas to be recognized and nine were selected. The winner in the green campus category was Daniel Forhan, who developed a plan to recycle the used cooking oil in the school’s cafeterias to biodiesel for use in campus buses.

Washington U in St. Louis Dining Services Recycles Cooking Oil

Washington University in St. Louis (MO) Dining Services has partnered with Kelley Green Biofuel to recycle its used vegetable oil. Once a week, Kelley Green Biodiesel collects the oil and converts it to biofuel, then places it in a holding tank on campus. The fuel is used for vehicles in the Dining Services fleet.

Baldwin-Wallace College Installs Wind Turbine

Baldwin-Wallace College (OH) has installed a 60-foot residential wind turbine on campus. The turbine can generate up to 2.4 kilowatt hours and serves as a sign of the College’s commitment to sustainability. It was paid for with funds from student government and the sustainability department.

Eastern U Installs Solar Panels

Eastern University (PA) has announced plans to cover the entire roof of its Eagle Learning Center with solar panels. The installation will be free-of-charge because Eastern's energy provider, Community Energy, will use it as a working sample for clients. The installation is expected to provide the Center with eight to 10 percent of its energy needs.

Medaille College Partners with Aramark to Achieve Energy Savings

Medaille College (NY) has partnered with ARAMARK Higher Education, the College's facilities management provider, to reduce its energy consumption on campus. In 2008, ARAMARK developed a 5-year plan to reduce energy use by 18 percent. After a combination of improvements and capital investments this goal was reached in just six months and a new goal was set to reach 25 percent. The College expects to save $600,000 and to reduce its carbon footprint by reducing the campus carbon dioxide emissions by at least 500 metric tons.

Northern Arizona U Produces Biodiesel on Campus

Northern Arizona University has begun using cooking oil from campus dining halls to create biodiesel for campus buses. The campus began their project when diesel was $5 a gallon; the biodiesel they produce now costs $1.70 a gallon.

Unity College Residence Achieves Net-Zero Status

The Unity House, a 1,930 square foot LEED Platinum home built on the campus of Unity College (ME), is now officially net-zero; it creates more energy than it uses. Construction on the sustainable home finished last fall, and over a period of one year it produced 6,441 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity while using only 6,430 kWh. The house was built for Unity College by Bensonwood Homes in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology School of Architecture. The Unity House is being used as an educational resource for visitors and students, as well as serving as home for Unity College President Mitchell Thomashow.

University System of Maryland Approves 4 Renewable Energy Projects

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents has approved the award of four renewable energy projects that will produce more than 20 percent of the annual electric needs for USM institutions and state agencies. The four projects recommended include a 13 MW solar project at Mount St. Mary's University, a 10 MW wind project in western Maryland, a 55 MW project in West Virginia, and up to 55 MW of offshore wind. It is expected that USM institutions will contract for approximately 20 percent of the Systems’ electrical consumption.

U South Carolina Pledges to Cut Vehicle Pollution

The University of South Carolina has announced plans to cut is vehicle pollution by 90 percent by 2015. The University plans to do this by switching the majority of its 400 vehicles to an alternative fuel. These alternatives include ethanol, biodiesel, liquefied petroleum gas, electricity, and hydrogen fuel cells. The transition will begin with a hydrogen hybrid bus joining the fleet next month.

UC San Diego Begins $73 M Energy Efficiency Program

The University of California, San Diego has begun a $73 million program to increase the energy efficiency of 25 of its older buildings. The project seeks to lower the buildings' combined energy consumption by at least $6 million a year. New installations will include energy-efficient lighting, air-conditioning controls, and energy-efficient computer servers. The project is part of a larger $247.4 million University of California initiative to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and cut energy costs at its 10 campuses by $36 million annually.

U Florida Performing Arts Center Makes Green Changes

The University of Florida’s Phillips Center for the Performing Arts has made several changes to reduce its carbon footprint. The Center has upgraded its performance lighting instruments, replaced dressing room and house aisles with compact fluorescent light bulbs, programmed its main auditorium lighting so that only one-quarter of the available lighting fixtures are on – at 50 percent intensity – during most work days, and placed recycling bins backstage and front-of-house. The Center also has a new program that gives priority parking spots to individuals that carpool to events.

U Kentucky Approves Energy Performance Contract

The University of Kentucky Board of Trustees has approved an energy savings performance contract with Ameresco, an energy service company (ESCO) based in Louisville. The ESCO has agreed to provide comprehensive energy and water management analysis plans as well as energy and water-related capital improvement services. The scope of the first phase of the project will be $25 million. Possible energy conservation measures that will reduce the university’s overall energy consumption include: upgrades to lighting systems to the latest electric saving technology, fume hood controls, HVAC systems, steam and chiller plant controls, and building envelopes; the installation of motor speed drives to save energy during mild weather conditions, energy management software to monitor usage in real time, and automatic utility metering devices; and replacement of old plumbing fixtures to the latest water saving technology. UK hopes to decrease overall energy demand by 10-15 percent.

U Oklahoma Set to Build 100 MW Wind Farm

The University of Oklahoma has partnered with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission to power its Norman campus with wind energy. The plan brings together many groups interested in building a wind farm and will result in the construction of 44 turbines that will be in full operation by the end of January 2010. The new turbines will be capable of generating up to 101 MW of electricity, which will add to the University's current usage of 10 percent wind power. OU hopes to be completely powered by wind by 2013.

Appalachian State U Completes 100kW Wind Turbine

Appalachian State University (NC) has completed the installation of its 100 kW wind turbine. The turbine, which is 121 feet tall, was funded with the $5-per-semester student green fee and is expected to meet the energy needs of 10-15 residential homes.

Duke U Announces Energy Conservation Policies

Duke University (NC) has adopted a new policy for building temperatures during regular and off-hours in university buildings. Where possible, temperatures in university buildings that are on the central control system will be set at approximately 68 degrees in the winter and 76 degrees in the summer. Those temperatures will be used during regular business hours of 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday. Off-hour temperatures of 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. and weekends will be set as low as 60 degrees and up to 80 degrees. Other buildings, including libraries and research buildings, will have individual heating and cooling settings different from the rest of Duke in order to preserve materials and equipment. The new policy will also discontinue the use of portable space heaters by employees at work. In all, the plan is expected to save Duke more than $600,000 a year.

Eastern Illinois U to Replace Coal with Biomass

Eastern Illinois University has announced a partnership with Honeywell to complete a $79 million renewable energy and building retrofit program. The project, which will combine energy-efficient facility upgrades with biomass-fueled heating plants, will help EIU address deferred maintenance, improve its infrastructure, and save approximately $140 million in energy and operating costs over the next two decades. The focal point of the program is the construction of a new steam plant on the southeast corner of campus that will be driven by two large biomass gasifiers. The plant will use wood chips sourced from the local logging industry to generate steam and heat buildings on campus, and it will replace the University’s aging steam plant, which consumes more than 10,000 tons of coal per year and requires constant maintenance. EIU will finance the improvements and use the savings, guaranteed by Honeywell through a 20-year performance contract, to pay for the work.

Lehigh U Incorporates Biodiesel into Campus Fleet

Lehigh University (PA) has begun to use biodiesel in all of its diesel engines in its campus fleet. These include both maintenance vehicles and student buses. Currently the University uses 40,000 gallons of diesel fuel each year, and now two percent of that will be biodiesel.

Loyola U Chicago Students Make Biodiesel From Used Cooking Oil

Loyola University, Chicago (IL) students have begun converting used cooking oil into biodiesel to use in buses on campus. The program started in as a result of a project in the University’s “Solutions to Environmental Problems” class. The students also use the left over glycerin from the process to create “bio-soap” that is sold at the campus bookstore.

Lyndon State College Receives Federal Grant for Solar Project

Lyndon State College (VT) has received a $32,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help fund the College’s five kilowatt solar power array. The array costs about $50,000 and is a project initiated by students in the College’s Sustainability Studies Program.

Pennsylvania State U Plans to Upgrade Steam Plant

Pennsylvania State University has announced plans to upgrade its west campus steam plant, which has been in operation since 1930, in 2010. The plan is part of an overarching energy master plan that requires reductions in carbon emissions and energy use. The upgrade to the steam plant will most likely result in a change of fuel source.

South Dakota School of Mines Installs Wind Turbines

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology’s Renewable Energy Research facility has raised two wind turbines. The turbines will mainly serve as an educational tool for engineering students. Many research projects involving the new turbines have already been designed and some are being carried out.

Texas State U San Marcos Announces Green Exercise Machines

Texas State University, San Marcos has retrofitted 30 elliptical machines in the Student Recreation Center, giving the equipment the capability of converting exercise into renewable energy. The machines, which will be connected to the university power grid, will convert the effort of a typical 30-minute workout into about 50-watt-hours of electricity. The goal of the project is to help promote sustainability efforts and to raise awareness among the student body.

U California Merced Completes 1 Megawatt Solar Power System

The University of California, Merced has completed a one-megawatt solar power system on its campus. The system consists of 4,900 solar panels that follow the sun’s movement and sit on 8.5 acres. The University expects to obtain 20 percent of its annual energy needs from the system, as well as an expected $5 million in savings over the next 20 years.

U Delaware Dairy Farm Goes Solar

The University of Delaware’s dairy farm has added 44 solar panels, a total of 9.2 kW, to the roof of its manure recycling center. In addition to the renewable energy benefits of the system, the University also hopes the new installation will show the practical use of solar to local farmers.

U Kansas Approves $25.6 M for Conservation Projects

The University of Kansas's Board of Regents has approved a $25.6 million contract with Energy Solutions Professionals (ESP) to carry out conservation projects on campus. Under the contract, the University expects to attain an annual savings of $2.2 million. ESP has developed seven categories in which to address conservation: including water conservation, lighting improvements, and lab improvements.

Massachusetts Inst of Technology Students Produce Biodiesel

A Massachusetts Institute of Technology student group has begun turning leftover kitchen oil into biodiesel for use in campus shuttles. Biodiesel@MIT, formed three years ago, believes that once production is in full swing, they will be able to produce 55 gallons of biodiesel per week.

Milwaukee Area Technical College to Install Solar Farm

Milwaukee Area Technical College (WI) has announced a $6.9 million solar education farm project. The College is partnering with Johnson Controls, an energy use optimization company, to build the 2,720 panel farm. The College estimates that the solar farm will save $70,300 in energy costs in its first year of operation.