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  1. Green Power Partnership’s 2021 Year in Review

    Associated Project(s): 

    GPP Logo

     

    Green Power Partnership's 2021 Year in Review

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA's) Green Power Partnership (GPP) reached several program milestones in calendar year 2021. The 2021 performance update shows how EPA's Partners continued to raise the bar on leadership and impact in green power use, advancing the U.S. market for green power.

    Here are the Partnership's 2021 accomplishments:

    2021 Year in Review

    These figures demonstrate how electricity consumers transform the power sector by choosing how their power is generated. EPA's Partners help grow demand and scale the renewable energy market by purchasing and using renewable electricity. Renewable electricity helps these organizations meet their energy, economic, and environmental objectives. Green electricity customers also encourage the development of renewable electricity sources and drive new project development.

    With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, new funding, programs, and incentives will help accelerate the transition to a clean energy future. See what the Inflation Reduction Act has to offer for Green Power Partners here.

     

    See more GPP data in our Program Data Viewer, and find more info about our Partners with our Partner Profile Viewerand in the Top Partner Rankings.

     

    To learn more, visit https://www.epa.gov/green-power-markets.

  2. Funding Approval for Micro-Agrivoltaics - Salvage of Equipment

    Ehab Kamarah and Madhu Khanna approved $10,000 in funding to support Agrivoltaics projects on campus.

    Tim Mies sent the following email excerpt to Madhu Khanna on Feb 7, 2023:

    I would like to update a bit on how this project might go forward, and ask for your thoughts on possible funding to complete this project (connect to campus grid).

     

    Carl to date has purchased 3 solar frames which can hold up to 72 of the size panel I have in storage (from the 2007 Solar Decathlon house).  Unfortunately I have only 40 panels, which will lead to a gaps in shading with only 12 panels per structure.

     

    My initial intention was to apply to SSC for funding to fill the space, purchase inverters, and hire electricians to connect to the campus grid.  This application would occur after the initial goal, shading research plots, is complete.

     

    Since this last email, I was contacted by Brent Lewis at F&S regarding potential surplus panels available immediately due to a demolition project under way for the failed building the panels connect to.  The picture below shows 60 panels of larger capacity (245 watt instead of 180) that would be able to fully populate the footprint of Carl’s frames.  In addition, there are inverters and ancillary connection parts that can likely be reused to allow these panels continued production on the campus grid.

     

    A ballpark estimate from F&S would be 5-10K to salvage all of the panels and equipment.   Do you think there would be support from Ehab to utilize carbon credit funds to at least salvage the panels and reinstall on the new frames?  I would be willing to apply to SSC again for the final connection if carbon funds could not cover this all.

  3. It's official! ECE is Net Zero Certified!

    Associated Project(s): 

    https://ece.illinois.edu/newsroom/news/net-zero-certification

    The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Building at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has become the university’s first zero energy certified facility through innovative facility design and clean energy produced on campus. All of the operational energy associated with the building is now offset through a combination of on-site solar production and solar renewable energy credits (SRECs), which earned the 238,000 gross square foot facility official Zero Energy (ZE) Certification from the International Living Future Institute (ILFI).

    According to ECE department head Bruce Hajek, “achieving net zero energy was an aspirational goal of everyone who contributed to the project and is the embodiment of the teaching and cutting-edge discovery excellence taking place in this world-class facility. The ability to meet this goal—in less than 10 years since the building’s opening—by using solar energy generated on campus showcases the relentless campus focus on reducing carbon emissions and what is possible through collaboration and leadership in this critical area.”

    The ECE Building produces about 11 percent of its energy through its rooftop array, a 300 kW setup featuring 970 panels. The rest of its consumption is supported through SRECs from Solar Farm 2.0, a 12.32 megawatt (MWdc) utility-scale installation on south campus bordering the Village of Savoy.

    Aerial view of Solar Farm 2.0 south of campus.Aerial view of the Solar Farm 2.0 south of campus. (Photo courtesy of Jim Baltz)

    The IFLI standard for meeting ZE certification includes accounting for all heating, cooling, and other energy a facility uses. Any non-electrical consumption is converted to a kilowatt-hour electricity equivalent to assess the efficiency performance and necessary offset. The certification process required a full year for verification and guarantees for continued zero energy operation into the future. Offsite renewable energy production must also be located within the same regional power grid and linked to building energy usage.

    Ehab Kamarah, associate vice chancellor and executive director of Facilities & Services, said, “Being an active partner with ECE on these types of projects is an example of why the university is a recognized leader in sustainable building design, construction, operations, and on-site renewable energy production. Finalizing this certification is a credit to the U of I’s expertise in solar innovation and expanding clean energy portfolio.”

    Reaching energy conservation and clean energy targets as a part of overall sustainability efforts is fundamental to Illinois’ land-grant university mission. The Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) is the university’s strategic plan to meet the Climate Leadership Commitments, including becoming carbon neutral as soon as possible and building resilience to climate change in the local community. The Urbana campus renewable energy portfolio already meets more than 12 percent of annual electricity needs.

    The ECE building is a sustainable learning laboratory with features that reduce energy consumption and help make zero energy a reality. In November 2019, the building achieved LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council for advanced energy efficiency features, such as LED and fluorescent lighting, intelligent systems to optimize energy usage, excellent space configuration, recycled materials incorporation, and other green design attributes. The facility was designed with most windows facing south for optimal daylighting, heat recovery chillers, chilled beams, exhaust heat recovery wheels, and occupancy sensors. Also, following the opening, the F&S Retrocommissioning team worked to enhance building control systems for peak efficiency by modifying programming, set points, and some controls.

    <<see video of solar panels at https://youtu.be/iU4SqjMxB1A>> 

    Many characteristics of the ECE Building directly contribute to research and educational use. A section of the rooftop solar array connects to a major research laboratory in the building and provides hands-on experience with photovoltaic technology. There is a weather station on the roof for collecting data about conditions that affect solar production, like wind speed, temperature, humidity, insolation, and cloud cover. For all visitors, interactive digital signs show updated energy usage and a power dashboard in the building’s atrium.

    More information about the ECE building is available at: https://ece.illinois.edu/about/buildings/energy-efficiency

  4. Energy Farm Mini Agrivoltaics

    Below is an email from Madhu Khanna regarding the energy farm mini agrivoltaics. 

     

    From: Khanna, Madhu <khanna1 at illinois.edu> 
    Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2023 3:37 AM
    To: Kamarah, Ehab <ekamarah at illinois.edu>; White, Morgan <mbwhite at illinois.edu>
    Subject: Energy Farm mini agrivoltaics

     

    Hi Ehab

     

    While we are waiting for doing the agrivoltaic experiments at Solar Farm 2 and build our own AV farm, Carl Bernacchi has been working on creating a small AV experiment at the Energy Farm with a few solar panels that can be set up to grow vegetables underneath. This project will generate solar energy that will be connected to the campus grid.

     

    Tim Mies and Carl Bernacchi have sent the following information.  Carl has used his USDA funds to purchase solar frames. They have been able to acquire panels from storage and  Brent Lewis at F&S.  But need $5-10K to salvage the panels and reinstall them.

     

    Can we approve up to $10K funds from the carbon credit fund to cover these costs? Tim plans to apply for SSC funding as well and if he gets funding then these costs can come down. We can justify it as a project that will contribute to increasing renewable energy generation in the future.

     

    Best

    Madhu

     

     

     

    Madhu Khanna

    Pronouns: she, her

    Alvin H. Baum Family Chair & Director, Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment

    ACES Distinguished Professor in Environmental Economics

    Co-Director, Center for Economics of Sustainability

    University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

    1301, W. Gregory Drive, Urbana, IL 61801

     

    email: khanna1@illinois.edu; phone: 217-333-5176; fax: 217-333-5538

     

    http://ace.illinois.edu/directory/madhu-khanna

    https://ceos.illinois.edu/bio-khanna

    https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=LPH4gbUAAAAJ&hl=en

     

    https://illinois.zoom.us/j/2173335176?pwd=Ri8rTzQ0S1RxZHpiY2tEWVdaSlhtZz09

     

    _____________________________________________________________________

    From: Mies, Tim <tmies at illinois.edu> 
    Sent: Tuesday, February 7, 2023 1:50 PM
    To: Khanna, Madhu <khanna1 at illinois.edu>
    Cc: Bernacchi, Carl J <bernacch at illinois.edu>
    Subject: Energy Farm mini agrivoltaics

     

     

    Good Morning Madhu,

     

    I would like to update a bit on how this project might go forward, and ask for your thoughts on possible funding to complete this project (connect to campus grid).

     

    Carl to date has purchased 3 solar frames which can hold up to 72 of the size panel I have in storage (from the 2007 Solar Decathlon house).  Unfortunately I have only 40 panels, which will lead to a gaps in shading with only 12 panels per structure.

     

    My initial intention was to apply to SSC for funding to fill the space, purchase inverters, and hire electricians to connect to the campus grid.  This application would occur after the initial goal, shading research plots, is complete.

     

    Since this last email, I was contacted by Brent Lewis at F&S regarding potential surplus panels available immediately due to a demolition project under way for the failed building the panels connect to.  The picture below shows 60 panels of larger capacity (245 watt instead of 180) that would be able to fully populate the footprint of Carl’s frames.  In addition, there are inverters and ancillary connection parts that can likely be reused to allow these panels continued production on the campus grid.

     

    A ballpark estimate from F&S would be 5-10K to salvage all of the panels and equipment.   Do you think there would be support from Ehab to utilize carbon credit funds to at least salvage the panels and reinstall on the new frames?  I would be willing to apply to SSC again for the final connection if carbon funds could not cover this all.

     

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions or clarifications that we can provide.


    Best,
    Tim

     

  5. Draft Solar Farm 3.0 report - with questions

    Below is an email exchange between Morgan White and Tony Spurlock:

    Hi Ehab, Rob, and Tony,

     

    I’ve put the Solar Farm 3.0 slide show from Dec. 9 into the attached report. I referenced the slides with thumbnail images, and we could take some out and increase the size of some, depending on what we prefer to do.

     

    Tony, I would appreciate your assistance with filling in the UIC total contract costs.  I’ve included comments for each of the spaces where that info is needed.  Could you please also look at the other questions I commented.

     

    Rob, there are two questions that I hope you can help answer. 

    1. If we lease the land for the onsite solar option, can it still be "behind the meter"?
    2. We currently conclude with this statement: “We feel that the hybrid option meets several goals as it has great savings potential, adds renewable energy to the regional MISO network, which supports our local provider Ameren, and directly increases the capacity of the network we use to purchase the balance between what we consume and what we produce at UIUC.”  Is a MISO project somewhere other than in Illinois going to support Ameren and increase the capacity of the network we use?

     

    Thanks,

    Morgan

    ---------------------------

    I added all of the UIC totals and attached the updated calculations.

     

    I do not think the hybrid option benefits Ameren (we are not taking additional delivery and it appears the new array would be outside the Ameren territory).

     

    Should we include a statement related to how this fits into our strategy?  Here is a thought to get the ball rolling.  “This hydrid option allows the University to continue its leadership in Sustainability by leveraging best practices and expanding its portfolio of renewable strategies that provide a more comprehensive approach to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.”  

     

    Regards,

     

    Tony

     

  6. Campus Energy Student Video 2022

    In December of 2022 Aaryaman Patel, a Mechanical Engineering student, published a video for a competition through the International District Energy Association. The purpose of the video is to highlight energy systems within a University campus.

    Below is the link to his video:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLrt4X0EOGA

     

  7. CIF Geothermal Exchange Borefield Information Resources

    Below is an email from Andrew Stumpf regarding the CIF's Geothermal Exhange Borefield.

    From: Stumpf, Andrew J <astumpf at illinois.edu>
    Sent: Monday, October 24, 2022 9:39 AM
    Subject: Re: CEE190 Instructor meeting

     

    Hi Eric,

     

    Yes. The report is available on IDEALS https://hdl.handle.net/2142/111796, so publicly available. Correct, John has been doing further study on the CIF building. He has been working with me on the research… his PhD exam is next Monday, so pretty busy. I’ve only had a brief tour of the mechanicals when it was first built, so I can’t really comment about the system inside. Dr. Tugce Baser in CEE tbaser at illinois.edu I believe received a more detailed tour, so you might want to reach out to her. Here is some information about the mechanicals published for an ASHRAE award the building received.

     

    Best,

    Andy

     

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