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.

Angelo State U Signs $13.2M Energy Performance Contract

Angelo State University (TX) has signed a $13.2 million performance contract with TAC, the building management and energy services business of Schneider Electric. TAC has agreed to provide facility upgrades to improve operations, comfort, and efficiency at 26 campus buildings totaling 1.4 million square feet and guarantees that ASU will reduce utility costs by nearly $800,000 annually.

Indiana U Dorms, Greek Houses Competes to Reduce Energy

Indiana University has completed its second annual Energy Challenge. The four-week-long challenge encouraged students to compete to reduce their energy and water consumption against a baseline of the average per capita electricity and water consumption over three years. Eighteen Greek houses participated for the first time this year, saving a total of 30, 975 kilowatts of electricity, 509,475 gallons of water, and $5,000. The 10 participating residence halls saved a total of 709,211 kilowatts of electricity, a 59 percent increase over last year, 1,120,813 gallons of water, an 83 percent increase over last year, and $42,000 in utility costs. The winning Greek house received a $900 cash prize, and the winning residence hall was awarded funds for the installation of a high-visibility energy conservation project in the amount of $4,500.

Rutgers U Completes Campus-Wide Energy Challenge

Rutgers U (NJ) has completed its first-ever, campus-wide RU Energy Challenge. The month-long competition saved the University 250,000 kW of power. As part of the competition, members of the campus community received flyers and emails reminding them to turn off lights, wash their clothes in cold water, and turn the heat off whenever possible. The winning college received a 45-pound glass trophy.

SUNY Plattsburg Energy Competition Nets 5% Savings

The State University of New York at Plattsburgh has completed "Power Down Plattsburgh," a challenge that asked all faculty, staff, and students to find ways of conserving energy on Earth Day. The University realized five percent in energy savings as a result of the initiative, which was sponsored by the newly formed Campus Sustainability Task Force.

U Central Missouri Approves Energy Performance Contract

The University of Central Missouri has signed a 24 month, $36.1 million energy performance contract with Trane. Trane will guide the renovation and upgrade of campus buildings while focusing on energy savings and improving the learning and working environment across the campus. Key elements of the upgrades will include the installation of renewable energy-efficient HVAC systems, new hot water distribution systems, installation of more energy-efficient lighting, installation of campus-wide building automation, life safety measures, laboratory air systems and controls, green technologies for curriculum utilization and campus green awareness, replacement of roofs and windows on various buildings, and improved air handling systems and acoustical improvements for the classroom and office spaces.

U Maine Farmington Wins Power Down Competition

The University of Maine at Farmington has won the first-ever, national "Power Down for the Planet" challenge, a national competition to fight global warming by pledging to reduce the amount of energy used by computers on campus. Over 24 percent of the UMF campus community committed to sustainable computing practices. The contest results are based on which campus can recruit the highest percentage of their campus members to pledge to set their computer to sleep mode when not in use and to purchase Energy Star qualified computers when available. This energy saving commitment by UMF will save the University an estimated $17,000 annually. Nineteen campuses participated in the competition, and Jackson State University (MS) and the University of Iowa received second and third place respectively.

U Massachusetts Dedicates More Efficient Heating Plant

The University of Massachusetts has dedicated its new $133 million central heating plant, which was completed in 2008. The new plant recovers 80 percent of the energy, while plants of similar size generally recover about 40 percent, and it provides most of the electricity for the campus with a 10 MW combustion gas turbine. As a result, utility costs will be reduced by about 25 percent and carbon dioxide emission will be reduced by about 30 percent.

U Rochester Unveils Biodiesel Bus

The University of Rochester (NY) has unveiled its first biodiesel bus. The campus produces the biodiesel for the vehicle on campus by collecting waste vegetable oil from dining halls on campus. The new bus is a result of a business plan created by four UR students for an entrepreneurial competition in the spring of 2007.

Wayne State U Installs Wind Turbine

Wayne State University (MI) has installed a Franklin Vertical Axis Wind Turbine atop its Engineering Technology Building in Midtown Detroit. The University believes that it is the first small wind energy turbine of its kind in North America. The new 30 feet tall turbine will produce 5 kW of electrical energy and will initially power the computer lab of the building.

Chico State U Launch Computer Sustainability Plan

Chico State University (CA) User Services and Green Campus has launched the Desktop Sustainability Plan, an initiative to install Power Save, a computer program that puts computers into a low energy consuming stand-by mode and measures how much energy is being saved. The program has the potential to save the University $100,000 annually.

U Maryland to Install Efficiency Upgrades at Horn Point Lab

The University of Maryland has selected Constellation Energy to implement energy and cost saving projects at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science Horn Point Laboratory. The initiative is expected to reduce energy usage by 15 percent and result in nearly $5 million in energy cost savings over 20 years through upgrades to water and energy infrastructure systems, energy efficient lighting, and insulation improvements in multiple buildings on the Horn Point Laboratory campus. The initiative will be financed through an energy performance contract which funds infrastructure upgrades through the guaranteed cost savings created by the improvements themselves.

U Tennessee Knoxville Reduces Annual Energy Use by 5%

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville has reduced is annual energy use by 5 percent through its Switch Your Thinking energy-saving campaign and a new campus energy conservation policy. Across campus, students, faculty, and staff have been encouraged to turn off unneeded lights and unused computers, and be more conscientious about the use of natural light and energy-efficient appliance purchases. The reduction resulted in a savings of $559,000.

U Maryland Signs Energy Performance Contract

The University of Maryland has signed a $20 million energy performance contract with Johnson Controls to save nearly $30 million in energy costs and 4,100 tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the course of 15 years. Through the performance contract, Johnson Controls will implement a variety of energy conservation and facility improvement measures including lighting upgrades, building envelope improvements, and HVAC and water upgrades. The project also proposes to deliver energy education, awareness, and green communications through programs focused on educating the university’s employees on energy efficiency at work and home as well as the environmental impact of their actions.

Lynchburg College to Install Energy Upgrades

Lynchburg College (VA) has hired Ameresco, an energy services company to do a comprehensive energy audit of the campus and to install energy upgrades to campus buildings. Among the possible upgrades are high efficiency lighting and lighting controls, a campus-wide energy management system, new boilers, new air conditioning systems, a water conservation program, upgrade of radiator controls in dormitories, windows with solar control, computer network power management, and field house improvements.

Arizona State U Dedicates 5 Solar Installations

Arizona State University has completed five solar installations totaling 1.88 MW. The five installations complete phase one of ASU solar project, which will add a total of 12 MW of solar power to the campus.

Lakeland CC Signs Energy Efficiency Contract

Lakeland Community College (IL) has signed an agreement with Siemens Building Technologies to improve energy efficiency on its campus. As a result of the contract, LCC expects to reduce its annual energy costs by more than $500,000. Siemens also plans to help the College establish a facility energy management course curriculum that will help students prepare for a segment of the green job market.

Temple U Begins Conservation Initiative, Adopts Conservation Policy

Temple University (PA) has begun a new initiatives aimed at helping faculty, staff, and students remember to turn the lights off when they leave a room. As part of the initiative, student and staff volunteers have been going from building to building on campus affixing decals to light switch covers in classrooms and other high-traffic areas. The brightly designed, green stickers cover wall switches and remind occupants to switch off the lights when they are the last to leave a space. The initiative is part of Temple's implementation of a new Energy Conservation Policy. Adopted in December, the policy provides regulations governing the use of a range of university resources, including heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; lighting; computer equipment; and water.

U South Florida Selected to Construct Smart Grid

The University of South Florida’s Power Center for Utility Explorations and Progress Energy Florida have been selected by Florida’s Energy and Climate Commission to build a smart grid that will serve at least 5,000 customers in the area. The three-year, $15 million project will incorporate alternative energy sources such as solar power and biodiesel fuel into the electrical power supply for the neighborhoods. Once developed, the smart grid will be the first in Florida that delivers power to homes and businesses. USF’s proposal was chosen from a field of 140 applicants.

Western Kentucky U Announces Energy Policy

Western Kentucky University's Energy Policy, developed by the WKU Sustainability Committee, has been approved by the University's Administrative Council. The new policy outlines individual and University responsibility for energy management and is intended to guide WKU in responsible use of energy through personal conservation, responsible purchasing, efficiency in building design and management, transportation, and education and awareness.

Christian Science Monitor Covers Increase in Green Campus Initiatives

The Christian Science Monitor has published an article on the increasing number of colleges and universities that are integrating green initiatives into their operations. The article mentions the biomass gasification plant that runs on wood chips at Middlebury College (VT), the wood-pellet boiler at the College of the Atlantic (ME), the biomass gasification facility that will use corn stover at the University of Minnesota, Morris, the methane system at the University of New Hampshire, and the carbon reductions that have resulted from the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

Las Positas College Installs Solar Shades

Las Positas College (CA) has installed new solar photovoltaic shades covering two of its parking lots on campus. The shades, which cost the College $12.9 million, will help provide energy for the campus' air conditioning system.

New York State Launches Energy Program for Campuses

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced a new initiative to encourage greater energy-efficiency awareness and market penetration to colleges and universities across New York State. The New York Energy $mart Focus on Colleges and Universities will identify technical assistance and financial incentive programs that institutions can access to maximize energy-efficiency and achieve their environmental goals.

Rutgers U Competes to Conserve Energy

The five campuses of Rutgers University (NJ) have begun a month-long energy reduction competition. The Busch, Livingston, College Avenue, Cook, and Douglass campuses are competing throughout the month of March to lower their percentage of electrical energy usage. The campus that is able to reduce the percentage of electrical energy consumption the most compared to the month of March last year will win a roving trophy that will be presented on Earth Day.

Vice President Biden Tours Energy Conservation Initiatives at U Penn

Vice President Joe Biden, along with four cabinet secretaries, the Philadelphia Mayor, the Pennsylvania Governor, and three congressmen, recently went on a tour of operations at the University of Pennsylvania. The University, which has cut its energy use by 15 percent, showed the group a small scale model of a former industrial wasteland that is being converted to park land. The park will feature native plant material to conserve water and might contain LED lighting and/or solar panels. The event was part of the White House's Middle Class Task Force, which held its first meeting in Philadelphia, focusing on energy green jobs to benefit middle-income workers.

Butte College Unveils 3 Solar Arrays

Butte College (CA) has unveiled three completed solar projects at its main campus. Together, the solar projects, which collectively are rated at 450kW, will power 10 campus buildings and are expected to save the College $40,000 annually in energy costs. Combined with a 1MW solar project completed during the 2004-2005 academic year, these solar panels will supply about 44 percent of the campus' electricity consumption.

Central Michigan U Competes to Save Energy

Central Michigan University has completed a competition to reduce the amount of energy consumed in the residence halls. The competition, which lasted throughout the month of February, took place in 5 dorms. The winners, which still haven't been determined, will receive $15 to spend at food stores around campus.

Louisiana State U Holds Energy Conservation Competition

Louisiana State University has begun a one month energy conservation competition in its residence halls and apartment complexes. The Unplug Residential Life Energy Competition looks to promote an understanding throughout the LSU on-campus community of what energy conservation entails and to empower students to take action in their daily lives to reduce their personal carbon footprint. Nine residence hall communities, which altogether house 4,800 residents and 135 resident assistants, are competing to see which community has the greatest reduction in energy usage between March 6 and April 3. The contest compares the March 2009 electrical meter readings with those from March 2008. The overall competition winners will be announced during LSU’s Earth Day celebration April 24. Residents in the winning halls will each receive a free USB computer flash drive.

Luther, Wartburg Colleges Compete to Reduce Energy

Luther College (IA) and Wartburg College (IA) have begun a competition to see which campus can conserve the most energy. The winning campus will receive a hand-carved trophy and bragging rights, and the losing campus will have to hang a sign that says the other school won.