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.
Princeton U Adds Environmentally Friendly Buses to Fleet
Princeton University (NJ) has added 10 new buses to its shuttle system fleet. The buses all run on B20 biodiesel fuel. The buses are larger than older ones in the fleet and hold 30 passengers instead of 14. The new additions will allow all of the TigerTransit buses to run on biodiesel on a regular basis.
Richland CC Installs Wind Turbine
Richland Community College (IL) has installed a 125 foot tall wind turbine on its campus. The turbine will be used to power the College’s Center for Sustainability and Innovation. Officials hope that the turbine, in conjunction with the building's geothermal heating, will make the Center achieve net-zero energy usage. The turbine also serves as real life training for students studying wind energy technology.
Santa Barbara City College Installs Solar Panels
Santa Barbara City College (CA) has installed a 235 kW solar array on its new car port in one of the College’s parking lots. Not only will the solar panels produce 10-percent of the College’s electrical needs, they will also provide shaded parking, outlets for future electric vehicles, and reduce the amount of heat radiating off the parking lot.
Smith College to Install Solar Panels on Campus Center
Smith College (MA) has announced plans to mount solar panels on the roof of its Campus Center. The electricity produced by the 130 solar panels will be approximately equivalent to the power needed to run the Campus Center Café. The system will be financed through a Power Purchase Agreement with renewable energy marketer and developer, Community Energy. The company will own and operate the $240,000 system, which enables the college to take advantage of the renewable power source without funding the system’s purchase up front. Community Energy will sell Smith electricity produced by the system at a locked-in rate for 20 years.
U Colorado Boulder Switches to LED Lighting
University of Colorado, Boulder has worked with Albeo Technologies Inc. to replace 200 fluorescent bulbs with an LED conversion kit in Farrand Hall. The initiative is expected to reduce Farrand's energy consumption by 36 percent.
Appalachian State U Installs Array for Solar Thermal Water Heating
Appalachian State University (NC) has installed 46 solar panels on the roof of its Student Union to provide solar thermal water heating for showers in the fitness center and hand-washing in building restaurants. The $140,000 project will save an estimated $14,000 per year.
Luther College Hires Energy Conservation Consultant
Luther College (IA) has hired consultants from Sebesta Blomberg, a worldwide engineering firm, to lend direction to a new initiative on energy conservation. The consultants will hold a series of five stakeholder meetings with students, staff, faculty, and administrators to engage the community in discussion on developing the college’s energy conservation program.
Rutgers U Opens Seven-Acre Solar Farm
Rutgers University (NJ) has opened a 1.4 MW solar energy facility on a 7-acre tract of land. The new facility is expected to save Rutgers $200,000 in its first year and reduce emissions by 1,300 tons of carbon dioxide per year. The project costs $10 million and $4.9 million of that was subsidized by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) through their Clean Energy Program. The University was also awarded the 2009 Energy Educator of the Year by BPU for their effort to improve the energy efficiency and use of renewable technologies in their facilities.
Western Carolina U Announces $5.25M Energy Performance Contract
Western Carolina University has signed a $5.25 million energy performance contract with ConEdison Solutions. The company has begun conducting a comprehensive campus energy audit and will begin implementing improvements in last spring or early summer. The company guarantees that WCU will save at least $5.25 million in energy expenses over the next 12 to 15 years. Improvements will enhance lighting efficiency, increase the use of solar energy, modify heating and air-conditioning systems and controls, expand water conservation, and boost shutdown technology for computers. In addition, a kiosk may be installed in the campus library with an energy dashboard that shows how much energy is being consumed on campus. The Carbon Paw Print logo will identify places on campus where an energy-saving measure was installed and share information about how it works.
Catholic U of America to Install 1,000 Solar Panels on Campus
The Catholic University of America (DC) has announced plans to install more than 1,000 solar panels on the roofs of four buildings across campus. The University believes the new installation will be the largest solar-energy system in the D.C. area in terms of electricity produced. CUA has signed a multi-year agreement with Washington Gas Energy Services Inc. to purchase electricity generated by the solar panels at guaranteed prices. The solar-panel system, which will be installed at no cost to CUA, will produce about 340,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year.
U Toronto Health Sciences Centre Installs Solar Panels
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, affiliated with the University of Toronto (ON), has installed 140 solar panels that span two stories of a parking garage. The University also plans to mount a display at the entrance to the parking garage to educate people about the solar panels. The installation is part of an overall initiative to make the hospital more efficient that includes upgrading lighting, optimizing HVAC equipment, improving energy management, and replacing chillers and cooling towers. Honeywell, the company that installed the array, has announced plans to install a second one in the near future. The estimated total savings from the energy efficiency projects is $2.7 million over the next 15 years.
Yale U Powers MP3s, Phones with Elliptical Machines
Yale University (CT) has installed mp3 player and phone chargers into elliptical machines on campus. The power expended on the elliptical machines is transformed into electricity by an alternator housed in the machine. The idea was developed by a Yale undergrad with guidance from an associate professor of electrical engineering. The new initiative also aims to create awareness about renewable energies.
Alfred U Joins LED University Program, Installs LEDs
Alfred University (NY) has joined Cree, Inc.’s University program, an international community of universities working to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient LED lighting across their campuses, and has installed LED lighting throughout its newest dorm on campus. The new dorm has 175 LED lights and 18 LED fluorescent tubes.
Antioch New England Reduces Energy by 19% Since 2007
Antioch University New England (NH) has announced that, since setting its 2020 carbon neutrality target in 2007, the University has reduced campus electricity use by a cumulative 19 percent. ANE estimates it has saved $19,995 on its electricity bills during this period. Some of the measures that ANE employed included a turn-off-the-light campaign, energy-saving e-alerts to all campus community members, and a program of transitioning out CRT computers to energy-efficient LCDs. Other energy conservation measures implemented at ANE in the past several years include installing restroom light occupancy sensors; removing unnecessary, high-energy consumption machinery from the campus; and establishing the Green Guru Office Energy-Efficiency Audit program in which a work-study student, based with ANE's Sustainability and Social Justice Committee, helps ANE employees reduce emissions through computer-setting adjustments, installation and use of power strips, and other low-tech solutions.
Appalachian State U to Implement Energy Conservation Measures
Appalachian State University’s (NC) Board of Trustees has approved a plan to borrow $5.34 million to implement a variety of energy-saving measures across campus. The measures are expected to save at least $600,000 a year in energy costs. Projects will include installing new LED lighting in both parking decks on campus, putting in a 2,000-square-foot green roof, replacing or improving some heating and air conditioning units on campus, installing efficient lighting in various campus buildings, and installing a solar thermal water heating system for Varsity Gym. Lighting occupancy sensors and water conservation measures such as low flow aerators and low flow toilets will be installed in some buildings, and an automated system will be installed in eight office and academic buildings on campus to adjust heat or air conditioning when they are unoccupied at night. ASU expects to repay the loan within 12 years from the energy and water savings.
Austin Peay State U Installs Solar Panels
Austin Peay State University (TN) has used $25,445 generated from its Student Sustainability Fee to install a solar array on the Environmental Education Center. Excess energy generated by the two-kilowatt array, which powers a nearby classroom, will be purchased by the local utility company.
Calvin College Reduces Light Pollution and Saves Energy
Calvin College (MI) has replaced several path lights with more efficient lamps that emit less light pollution. The student-initiated effort, which was originally part of a class project, aims to reduce light pollution around the campus observatory.
George Washington U to Convert Waste to Electricity
George Washington University (DC) has announced plans to begin sending its 3,500 tons of annual waste to the Covanta Waste-to-Energy facility in Alexandria, Virginia, instead of sending its garbage to the landfill. The waste will be burned at high temperatures to generate steam to power turbines that create electricity. As a result of the new initiative, the University will be sending 90 percent less material to landfills.
Humber College Embraces LED Lighting to Reduce Energy Use
Humber College (ON) has replaced 1,050 of its halogen light bulbs with new LED lights. The switch will reduce Humber’s electrical demand and electrical consumption for lighting by 88 percent, from 2,625,000 kWh to 315,000 kWh, over the life of the bulbs. Over the 9 year lifespan of the lights, the College expects to save $525,000.
Smith College Installs Water-Saving Showerheads, Replaces Old Power Strips
Smith College (MA) has replaced nearly every showerhead in every house on campus with a new low-flow model, and has replaced old power strips with new, more efficient ones. The 500 new showerhead installations will save the College three million gallons of water per year, and because shower users will use less hot water, the College will also save on heating bills and energy. In only one year, Smith will have redeemed the initial cost of the project through savings. As a result of the power strip replacement project, Smith will conserve approximately 125,000 kWh per year. Payback will take six months to one year.
SUNY College of Env'l Science and Forestry Opens Biofuel Station
The State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has installed a new biofuel station with two 3,000 gallon storage tanks, each with its own dispensing system, to supply the College’s growing fleet of alternative fuel vehicles. ESF students make much of the E-85 biofuel for biodiesel from used cooking oil from nearby college dining halls. SUNY ESF has also purchased two biodiesel-powered 25-passenger buses.
U Maryland, Rio Salado College Win Greenest Campus Contest
The University of Maryland and Rio Salado College (AZ) have won the America’s Greenest Campus Contest, sponsored by SmartPower and Climate Culture. The Contest challenges colleges across the country to spread awareness about energy use and reduce their carbon footprint. Anyone with a .edu email address can sign up and respond to a sustainable lifestyle survey. The contest ranks institutions on how participants respond. Maryland had the highest number of participants with 2,257 and Rio Salado College (AZ) had the highest carbon reduction of 4.4 percent. Both schools won $5,000. Nearly 500 campuses competed.
Indiana U Receives Grant to Green Student Union
Indiana University has received a $50,000 grant from Duke Energy to conduct a study on how to make the Indiana Memorial Union more sustainable. The “Greening of the IMU” initiative consists of students, officials, and firms that will work together to make the building a more sustainable place. Possible changes include bringing in more local and organic foods, revamping the ventilation and water systems, and increasing natural lighting. The group will use the findings in this study to help green other campus buildings.
Saint John's U Begins 400kW Photovoltaic Project
Saint John's University (MN) and Saint John's Abbey have begun installing 1,800 solar modules that will produce an anticipated 400 kW. The power generated by the panels will be connected to the electrical grid serving Saint John's and the central Minnesota area. The facility will offset about 20 percent of Saint John’s peak energy needs during the summer months and approximately four percent of the campus’s overall energy needs on an annual basis. The expected completion date is late November 2009.
U Kansas Fuels Game Zone with Biodiesel
The University of Kansas Biodiesel Initiative and Kansas Athletics have partnered to sponsor the Family Fun Zone at home football games. The Zone features inflatable games that will be powered by generators fueled by biodiesel from used cooking oil in campus dining areas.
Brandeis U Signs PPA to Install 227 kW Solar System
Brandeis University (MA) has signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Alteris Renewables to develop and install a 227 kW solar system. This contract is expected to save the University nearly $1 million over the life of the system.
Eastfield College Installs Solar Array
Eastfield College (TX) has partnered with Green Mountain Energy Company to install a 380-square-foot, 24-solar-panel array that will produce 4.4 kW. It is expected to save the college $100,000 in electricity costs over its 30-year lifespan. The solar array was donated by Green Mountain Energy Company. It will be used as a teaching tool for the College and is already included in many course curricula.
Memorial U Completes Energy Reduction Project
Memorial University (NL), in partnership with Honeywell, has completed a series of energy upgrades to facilities across campus. Through energy-efficient building improvements and infrastructure upgrades, the program will help the University address deferred maintenance and save approximately $1.5 million in utility costs per year. The project focused on the central heating and cooling plant, and seven buildings on the university's 250-acre campus. Specifically, Honeywell installed new high efficiency controls and burners on three boilers in the central plant, which will allow the facilities staff to respond to load changes caused by weather or equipment malfunctions more efficiently.