To reach our 2015 iCAP objective of 140,000 MWh per year of clean energy usage, we will need to increase our off-campus procurement of clean energy by 90,000 MWh/year. One proposed solution is to enter into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with an off-campus solar developer. This potential project is often called "Solar Farm 3.0" and discussions are ongoing about the costs and benefits of this proposal.
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The university’s history of climate commitments began with an acute focus on one significant agent of climate change: greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The vices of global climate change include extreme weather events, air pollution and respiratory ailments, food and water insecurity, land and agricultural degradation, and social injustices. In 2020, curtailing campuswide GHG emissions remains the cornerstone of our strategic plan.
Campus is exploring options for retrofitting Energy Farm with Deep Direct Use (DDU) geothermal energy.
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics (DIA) is interested in forming a climate action plan for their unit to support the 2015 Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP). Masters student in CEE, Gopal Pareek, is working with sustainability staff to draft a climate action plan targeted to DIA-specific opportunities.
The 2015 iCAP, chapter 9, objective 4 is, "By the end of FY16, evaluate the feasibility of internally putting a price on carbon emissions." A detailed study by campus experts, drawing on expertise of corporate partners and other universities, could be conducted to determine what implementation would make the most sense for our campus.
The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation’s Net Zero Energy Building Program will award grants to new construction or retrofit projects that achieve site net zero energy performance, or better, over the course of a year. Buildings must, at a minimum, offset all of their energy consumption with on-site generation from renewable resources. Grants will be paid incrementally, with full payment contingent on actual performance.
The 2015 iCAP, chapter 7, objective 1 is "Perform a comprehensive assessment of GHG emissions from agricultural operations, and develop a plan to reduce them, by the end of FY16." This assessment should include the identification or development of an agricultural emissions calculator that can be used on an annual basis to estimate related GHG emissions, along with the identification of the appropriate group of stakeholders in the relevant units who would annually provide the required i
The Student Sustainability Committee funded the design and installation of a small solar PV array on the Speech and Hearing Sciences Building. This particular location was chosen due to its viability, visibility, and location near the heart of campus. The roof was found to be strong enough to hold a ballasted solar array, and a design was completed. That design is available here in PDF format and can be pursued, if desired.