U North Alabama Receives Green Campus Initiative Funding
The University of North Alabama has received $951,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy for phase two of the University’s Green Campus Initiative, an effort to make UNA facilities as energy-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible. UNA’s Green Campus Initiative projects are designed to promote greater efficiencies of energy usage, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and recycling of appropriate items. Phase one of the initiative includes the current renovation of Keller Hall. The Keller renovation features solar panels, new windows, and a new heating and air system.
U North Carolina Implements Energy Policy
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has implemented a new campus-wide energy policy that aims to decrease energy use by reducing the amount of air conditioning and heating used in buildings. The temperature set points will be between 76 and 78 degrees during the summer and between 69 and 71 degrees during the winter. Most buildings will be programmed to relax these settings (to between 64 and 83 degrees) when buildings typically are unoccupied or have low occupancy. The University expects a savings of between $4 and $5 million per year in energy costs.
U North Carolina Launches U.S. Energy Use Website
The School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has launched “Powering a Nation,” an experimental multimedia news website that explores U.S. energy use and its relationship to the country’s demographics. Ten Carolina journalism students selected as News21 fellows have been working since January with faculty – joined by two students from Harvard University (MA) and the University of Missouri – to produce stories about wind farms, the electrical grid, mountaintop removal, coal activists, biofuels, religious response to environmental issues, and other topics. The stories are presented as feature articles, multimedia documentaries, motion graphics, blog posts, and games.
Arizona State U Installs LEDs in Parking Structures
Arizona State University has retrofitted six parking structures on the Tempe campus with new light- emitting diode (LED) fixtures. The project will afford ASU with an annual savings of up to $127,000 in energy and maintenance costs.
Durham College Installs Solar Array
Durham College (ON) has installed a $500,000 grid-tied photovoltaic system. The new solar power system is part of a 40,000-square-foot expansion and upgrade of the College’s Whitby campus that is designed to increase energy efficiency and energy production while supporting a range of energy-focused programs and learning facilities.
Harvard U to Install 500 kW Solar Array
Harvard University (MA) has announced plans to install a 500 kW solar array on the top of one of its campus buildings. The array, which is expected to reach nearly 2 ½ football fields in length, is being funded in part by a $1.08 million grant from the state’s Commonwealth Solar rebate program, which aims to increase the amount of renewable energy generated by photovoltaic technology in Massachusetts.
Keene State College Installs Co-Gen Plant
Keene State College (NH) has installed a co-generation heat plant that is expected to reduce energy costs by more than $120,000 a year and to reduce greenhouse gases caused by campus electrical consumption by more than 500 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. The new facility features two new boilers that have high-efficiency burners that increase steam output with almost no waste; a control system that regulates the boilers for maximum output; and the ability to allow steam to provide heat and turn a turbine that will generate up to 12 percent of the campus's electricity.
U Akron Installs Energy Efficient Stadium Lighting
The University of Akron (OH) has installed five energy efficient light masts around its football stadium. The new installations will use as much as 25 percent less energy than traditional stadium lighting.
Colorado State U to Install Solar Power Plant
Colorado State University has announced plans to install a 2 MW solar power plant on its Foothills Campus. The 15 acre solar array will generate enough solar power to meet more than 10 percent of the University’s electric energy needs. In exchange for hosting the solar panels, Colorado State has secured a 20-year contract for solar power to keep costs low.
Drexel U Adopts Smart Grid Technology
Drexel University (PA) has deployed an energy monitoring system on its main campus. The system will provide real-time measurements of Drexel's power usage and eventually allow the University to sell energy back to the larger public grid. Using real-time pricing technology, the system will also allow the University to purchase power at times of the day when demand is low and sell excess power back to the larger power grid. The Power Resources Department at Drexel’s College of Engineering will use the campus smart grid as a working laboratory to advance its study of urban power systems.
Florida State U Partners to Build 5 MW Solar Thermal Plant
Florida State University has announced plans to build a 5 MW power plant that uses solar thermal energy and biomass to generate electricity. The plant will use thermal aluminum panels that capture and store heat and will use biomass to make up for hours of the day when the sun isn't out. Construction is set to start in the fall and is expected to be completed in 18 months.
U Iowa 15th in Nation for On-site Green Power
The University of Iowa has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as one of the Top 20 On-site Green Power Users, with a rank of 15th in the nation. As the only college campus on this list, the UI has an on-site power plant that uses oat hulls to generate nearly 9 million kilowatt-hours of biomass power annually, equivalent to 3 percent of its electricity use.
College of Charleston Releases Campus Sustainability Video
The College of Charleston (SC) has created a video about sustainability on the Charleston campus. The video aims to teach students about sustainability and how they can reduce their energy consumption on campus and to encourage students to take action to make the College more sustainable.
Colorado College Saves $100K in Energy Costs
Colorado College has announced that it saved nearly $100,000 during its 14 week "aCClimate14" conservation campaign during the spring semester. The "aCClimate14" effort was a campus-wide resource conservation campaign designed to achieve a 14 percent reduction in electricity, heat, and water use through behavioral change. Each of the 14 weeks in the semester focused on different daily habits such as computing, bathing, transportation, and studying. The campaign included various communal tools to encourage behavioral shifts, including drying racks, outdoor recycling receptacles, shower timers, and plug-in electric meters.
Penn State Approves Energy Conservation Policy
Pennsylvania State University has announced plans to release a new energy conservation policy this fall. The policy, which has been approved by the University, includes guidelines such as making ''every effort'' to maintain the temperature inside facilities at 70 degrees in winter, and turning off or putting in ''standby mode'' any office equipment not in use ''unless it is detrimental to the operation of the equipment to do so.'
U New Mexico-Taos Goes 100% Solar
The University of New Mexico-Taos has announced that its 3 ½ acre, 500 kW solar array, which is expected to be complete by the end of July 2009, will provide the University with more than 100 percent of its electricity needs. UNM Taos officials believe that the community college is the first in the nation to be completely powered by solar energy.
Shasta College to Install Solar Panels at Campus Farm
Shasta College (CA) has signed a contract to fill a 250 yard by 100 yard rectangle with solar panels, and the campus farm has been selected as the preferred site. Shasta estimates that the new installation could reduce its electricity costs by as much as 40 percent.
Smith College Reduces Emisisons 31 Percent
Smith College (MA) has announced that it reduced its emissions by 31 percent between 2004 and 2008. The College has attributed the decrease to ongoing efficiency upgrades to campus buildings and infrastructure and to its conversion from burning mostly oil to natural gas in the central heating plant.
U Kansas Generates Energy from Student Workouts
The University of Kansas has retrofitted 15 elliptical machines with devices that draw on kinetic energy created by people's workouts and reroute that energy back into the building's electric grid. The energy produced from the workout machines will be used to help power the David A. Ambler Student Recreation Center.
Appalachian State U Installs 100 kW Wind Turbine
Appalachian State University (NC) has announced the completion of a 100 kW wind turbine located on campus. Officials believe it is the largest wind turbine in the state of North Carolina. The $533,000 project was funded by Appalachian students through a $5 Renewable Energy Initiative fee collected each semester.
St. Olaf College Awarded for Energy Efficiency
St. Olaf College (MN) has been named Xcel Energy's Number 2 "Efficiency Partner" - one of 56 businesses the company honored recently for participating in Xcel's 2008 efficiency programs. St. Olaf was noted in the "Top 10" list for having saved 6.91 million kWh. St. Olaf also ranked No. 1 in natural gas efficiency, with 417,840 therms saved.
U Colorado at Colorado Springs Installs Solar Panels
The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs has installed a solar system on the roof of its Science and Engineering building. The $107,000 system was funded with a grant from the Governor’s Energy Office, proceeds from a 2008 fee passed by UCCS students, and funds from Colorado Springs Utilities rebate program. The energy produced by the solar system will be displayed on a kiosk in the lobby of the building.
Colorado State U Installs Biomass Boiler
Colorado State University has partnered with the Colorado State Forest Service to install a biomass boiler heating plant on the Foothills Campus to reduce the university's greenhouse gas emissions and cut energy costs. The heating plant will burn wood chips rather than rely solely on natural gas to provide hot water for the Judson M. Harper Research Complex. The wood chips will be obtained from forest restoration and management efforts such as forest fire mitigation projects, which typically supply about 10 tons of wood chips per acre. CSU officials estimate that it will save approximately $60,000 in utility costs annual as a result of the new biomass boiler.
Colorado State U Installs Solar Panels
Colorado State University has installed photovoltaic cells on the roof of its Engineering Building. The 18.9-kilowatt solar array is expected to produce more than 25,000 kilowatt hours per year and will reduce the greenhouse gas emissions of the Engineering Building by 18.3 metric tons per year. The Governor's Energy Office provided $35,000 in matching funds for a PV project grant as part of the state's 2009 Solar Rebate Program.
Northern Michigan U Cancels Plans to Burn Coal
Northern Michigan University’s request to void the State of Michigan permit for its proposed cogeneration heating and steam plant has been granted by the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). The permit, which was issued May 12, 2008, would have enabled NMU to burn coal as a backup fuel source in the proposed multi-fuel steam and heating plant. The primary fuel source was to be wood and wood byproducts. Construction on the cogeneration plant had not started, in part, due to a stay on the DEQ permit by the Sierra Club, which opposes the burning of coal. NMU is currently working on a permit application that would allow wood to be the sole fuel source.
Pomona College Students Outfit Trailer w/ Solar Panels
Students in a Farm and Gardens class at Pomona College (CA) have installed three 200-watt photovoltaic panels that charge six 12-volt batteries on a trailer. The outfitted trailer, known as the "rover," also features a charge controller that helps avoid battery overcharging and an inverter that converts the battery's DC current into AC. Students in the course planned and raised funds for the solar project, which will primarily be used at the campus farm. The trailer will also be available for campus events.
U Denver Raises A/C Temperature to Save Energy
The University of Denver (CO) has announced plans to cut back on air conditioning in an effort to conserve energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Facilities management expects to boost the temperatures in centrally controlled buildings by about four degrees to an average room temperature of 76 degrees.
U Illinois Urbana Champaign Reduces Energy by Almost 10%
The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign has reduced its energy by 9.6 percent and saved approximately $5 million over the last 10 months as a result of several energy upgrades. Renovations include a Lighting Retrofit Project, which entailed replacing more than 80,000 outdated fixtures and ballasts in the 44 buildings that use the most energy, and the installation of 250 occupancy sensors in classrooms. The University is currently undergoing a Retrocommissioning Project that aims to replace and repair HVAC and other building systems to improve energy efficiency. Programmable controls have already been installed in several older structures as part of the project.
Washington U St. Louis Installs Rooftop Wind Turbines
Washington University in St. Louis (MO) has begun a project to install seven wind turbines on top of a historic building on campus. The new turbines will provide energy for the 16 apartments that are contained within the structure.
Chronicle of Higher Ed Covers Trend of LED Lighting on Campus
The Chronicle of Higher Education has published an article on the trend of colleges and universities installing LED lighting. The article mentions Le Moyne College (NY), Georgia Institute of Technology, Marquette University (WI), Madison Area Technical College (WI), University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, and North Carolina State University.
George Washington U Implements Several Green IT Initiatives
George Washington University's (DC) Information Systems and Services department has implemented several new initiatives to make its services more environmentally friendly. Such projects include the implementation of Lifecycle Refresh and GW documents, two programs that seek to lower energy costs. Lifecycle Refresh allows for new energy-efficient servers and data center systems that have greater computing power to replace older systems. One new machine can replace three to four old machines with no loss in performance. GWdocuments reduces the need for physical servers by consolidating administrative documents into a Documentum repository. The goal is to have all administrative documents in one central storage area, which lowers energy usage and makes information more accessible. GW is also in the process of launching a new data center, which will employ a number of energy efficient strategies. The data center is set to launch in early 2010.
Oberlin College Tractor to Run on Vegetable Oil
Oberlin College (OH) has converted its lawn-mowing tractor to run on vegetable oil. The tractor conversion will reduce the College’s consumption of fossil fuels by at least 700 gallons and eliminate more than 14,000 lbs of CO2 emissions. The fuel expenditure also will be reduced by about $1500 annually.
Syracuse U to Build Off-the-grid Data Center
Syracuse University, New York State, and IBM have entered into a multiyear agreement to build and operate a new computer data center on the University's campus that will incorporate advanced infrastructure and smarter computing technologies. The 6,000-square-foot data center will feature an on-site electrical co-generation system that will use natural gas-fueled microturbine engines to generate all electricity for the center and provide cooling for the computer servers, allowing the center to run completely off the grid. In addition, SU will conduct research and analysis of the data center's power and cooling technologies and develop models and simulation tools to monitor, estimate, plan, and control energy use to achieve the goal of reducing average data center energy use by 50 percent.
Virginia Tech Students Produce Biodiesel
A group of Virginia Tech students have produced more than 200 gallons of biodiesel as part of a senior design project for the department of mechanical engineering. The Virginia Tech Bio-Fuels group uses the B100 fuel, which is made from waste vegetable oil obtained from local restaurants, to run two pickup trucks.
Butte College Unveils Solar Arrays on Parking Structure
Butte College (CA) has installed a solar array on one of its campus parking lots. The new array, which also provides shade for cars, will generate energy for seven buildings and four greenhouses. The College expects to save $8 million over the life of the array. This installation is the fifth solar project the College has embarked on in the last four years. Overall, 45 percent of the College's electricity needs are now met with solar power.
Rockingham CC Students Install Solar Arrays
Students at Rockingham Community College (NC) have installed 17 photovoltaic panels on the northwest side of a 1,000-square-foot home built on campus. The array will meet all electricity needs for the structure. Students have also installed a solar panel for the house's hot water heater. Professors plan to use the arrays as teaching tools in the future.
U Northern British Columbia Announces Biomass Gasification Project
The University of Northern British Columbia has selected Nexterra Energy Corp. to supply and install a turnkey biomass gasification system to heat the Prince George campus and to anchor its new Northern Bioenergy Innovation Centre. The gasification system will convert locally-sourced wood residue into clean-burning renewable synthetic gas that will displace up to 85 percent of the natural gas currently used to heat the campus. The project, which is jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments, is expected to begin in June 2009. It will be complete by mid-2010.
Western State College Installs 3 Solar Arrays
Western State College of Colorado has installed three solar systems on Kelley Hall, a building that houses the Environmental Studies and Behavioral and Social Sciences programs. The system, which is primarily meant to provide a solar laboratory for student research, includes two solar electric systems that will offset a portion of the structure's electricity usage and a solar thermal system that will provide heat for domestic water for hand-washing in the restrooms and some space heating for the building.
Colgate U Plants Biomass Farm
Colgate University (NY) has planted a new 7.5 acre willow biomass farm that will help to heat its campus. Depending on the soil, weather, and overall conditions, CU's planting of 60,000 8-inch shrub willow shoots should yield about 900 dry tons of biomass over a 20-year period. The biomass farm was funded by a gift from the Class of 2008.
Northwestern U Commits to Green IT, Improves Data Ctr Efficiency
Northwestern University's (IL) Information Technology (NUIT) department has created a Green Technology Commitment Statement, officially promising to guide efforts toward best practices in reducing energy consumption through power management, disposing of e-waste in an environmentally friendly manner, and encouraging the use of emerging communication technologies for environmental campaigns. As part of the commitment, NUIT has announced an initiative to virtualize university administrative services located in NUIT Data Centers to improve development, deployment, and disaster recovery functions while decreasing power consumption and increasing operational uptime.
U Calgary Receives Funding for Cogen Plant, Energy Upgrades
The University of Calgary (AB) has received $29.8 million from the Federal and Provincial Governments to support the construction of an energy efficiency cogeneration plant and a campus-wide energy performance program that will convert an ageing heating and cooling plant into a 12-15 megawatt cogeneration facility. The new system will generate electricity from natural gas and capture the waste heat to be used in buildings across campus. It is expected to result in $3.5 million in cost savings on energy bills per year and reduce the University’s carbon dioxide emissions by 80,000 tonnes per year when it comes online by the end of 2011.
U New Hampshire Completes Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project
The University of New Hampshire has completed a project that uses purified methane gas from a nearby landfill to power its five-million-square-foot campus. UNH will receive up to 85 percent of its electricity and heat from the gas, making it the first university in the US to use landfill gas as its primary fuel source. After the gas is purified and compressed in a processing plant at a nearby landfill, it travels through a 12.7-mile-pipeline to UNH’s cogeneration plant, where it will replace commercial natural gas as the primary fuel source.
U Oregon Installs Electricity Generating Fitness Machines
The University of Oregon has installed 15 elliptical machines in its Student Recreation Center that generate electricity while in use. An average half-hour workout on the fitness machine produces enough electricity to power a laptop computer for one hour. The product, known as ReCardio, captures and diverts the kinetic energy normally produced by exercise and given off as heat to an inverter that changes the energy into the alternating current that's used in the electrical grid. The University plans to add five more energy generating machines in the near future.
College of the Atlantic Class Installs Wind Turbine
Students in the College of the Atlantic's (ME) Practicum in Wind Power course have installed a wind turbine on the campus' Beech Hill Farm. The College hopes that the wind turbine will provide enough electricity to power the farm.
Humboldt State U to Improve Stadium Lighting Efficiency
Humboldt State University (CA) has announced plans to upgrade the Redwood Bowl stadium lighting. The Relight the Redwood Bowl project, which began with a student proposal, will finance the purchase of new fixtures that focus light directly on to the field. The number of light fixtures will drop by 40 percent, and the University estimates a savings of $186,221 and a reduction of 1,525,000 kilowatt-hours over a 25-year period.
Ithaca College Kitchen to Undergo Student-Designed Green Upgrade
A group of Ithaca College (NY) students have developed a plan to reduce energy consumption in the campus dining hall. Working in partnership with the Sodexo, the College's food service provider, the students conducted a water and energy audit, examined every piece of equipment for energy efficiency, and developed a baseline estimate of dining-service energy consumption and carbon emissions. The team then identified short and long range ways to curb energy use that included installing energy-efficient exhaust fans, making employees more aware of energy use, and adding light sensors. The team's plan will cut the energy bill by nearly $140,000 per year via low-cost or no-cost projects. Investments in energy-efficient equipment will cost just over $215,000 and will pay for themselves in 19 months.
Louisiana State U Reduces Dorm Energy Use 18%
Louisiana State University has completed its UNPLUG Competition, a contest to reduce energy consumption in nine campus dormitories. As part of the competition, students were asked to make small adjustments in their daily routines in an effort to impact overall energy consumption. These adjustments included using task lighting and natural light whenever possible, adjusting the temperature in dorm rooms, unplugging nonessential electrical devices whenever possible, taking the stairs rather than the elevator, and taking shorter showers. Residents collectively reduced their energy use by 18 percent, saving the University $13,763 over the month of March.
Northland College Class Installs Solar Panels on Library
Students in a "Sustainable Living: Photovoltaics" course at Northland College (WI) have selected and installed a 38 solar panel array on the campus library. The new photovoltaic system, which employs bifacial panels, can capture direct sunlight and light reflected by the building’s white roof. It is expected to produce 14 kilowatts of power, approximately the amount used by the library’s geothermal heating and cooling system.
Truman State U Receives Biofuels Grant
Truman State University (MO) has received a $34,000 grant from the Northeast Missouri Solid Waste District to fund a student group's project to convert waste vegetable oil into biodiesel. Bulldog Biodiesel, formed in 2007, collects oil waste from area restaurants and campus cafeterias and converts it into a clean-burning fuel used in several vehicles on Truman’s farm. In 2008, the group purchased a processor which can convert 50 gallons of fuel every 48 hours. The grant will allow the group to continue through June 2010.
U Minnesota Morris Partners for Carbon Neutrality
The University of Minnesota, Morris has partnered with McKinstry, a design/build construction, engineering, energy services, and facilities management firm, to help attain its goal to become carbon neutral. McKinstry has completed an energy analysis of UMM; developed a Carbon Management Tool that demonstrates impacts and interactions between a multitude of conservation, energy storage, and supply side options; and created a plan for managing energy production, storage, and consumption. The new plan seeks to reduce UMM's carbon emissions by more than 80 percent by 2010. The University plans to purchase offsets for the remaining carbon emissions.