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Project Updates for collection: Renewable Energy Projects

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  1. iWG agenda packet

  2. Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) purchased for FY15

    Associated Project(s): 
    • PEI bought 20,000,000 kwh for FY15. 
    • They are MISO Wind RECs. 
    • Without Petascale, this represents 5.28% of projected electricity demand. 
    • Including Petascale, this represents 4.25% of projected electricity demand.  
    • A half year of the solar farm would bring this up to 5%.
    • The REC cost was $ 1.25 / MWH for a total of $27,000.
  3. F&S response to iWG assessment

    This letter is in response to the Illinois Climate Action Plan (iCAP) Working Group (iWG) recommendation #EG001, which Facilities & Services (F&S) received on August 28.  F&S agrees that the campus should investigate the feasibility of entering into a Wind Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to increase the use of renewable energy for campus. 

    Regarding the EG001 general statements about campus energy use, data points, and assessments of anticipated financial impacts, F&S will need more time to compile a useful response.  Regarding the three specific EG001 recommendations, I have consulted with Al Stratman, Kent Reifsteck, and Mike Larson to provide the responses below. 

    1. Recommendation: “The campus should undertake a Power Purchase Agreement for wind energy. Based on currently available information, we recommend that the amount be at least 119 million kWh per year (25% of our total electrical usage), but we should aim to purchase as much as we possibly can, given any technical, financial, and contractual constraints.”

    From this recommendation, we understand that the iWG recommends entering into a Wind PPA for at least 25% of the FY15 electrical demand.  However, the campus cannot make an informed decision about whether or not to undertake a PPA until the financial impact is fully understood.  A key component of the financial impact is the fully burdened cost of the purchased wind power, which will not be known until after the successful completion of the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.  Therefore, F&S does support pursuing a PPA so the feasibility can be evaluated, but we do not support making a final decision to undertake a PPA until completely evaluating the financial implications.

    1. Recommendation: “The effort to secure a PPA should be pursued as quickly as possible. The campus should inform PEI that this is a top priority, and that the review of RFI submittals and the issuance of the RFP should be expedited by all necessary means.”

    During this summer, F&S worked with PEI to define a schedule for issuing a Request for Information (RFI) and a subsequent Request for Proposals (RFP).  This schedule shows a completion date of April 2015, so that the PPA could commence with delivery of power on July 1, 2015, at the start of FY16.  We have informed PEI that this is a top priority, along with safety and reliability of the overall campus energy system.

    1. Recommendation: “The iCAP Working Group should be kept informed and advised during the process of pursuing the RFI, RFP, and PPA, and given the opportunity to provide recommendations before key decisions are made about the PPA, to ensure that technical and financial considerations are appropriately balanced with our campus sustainability objectives.”

    F&S values the advice and input from sustainability advocates on campus.  Therefore, we suggest developing a set of interim checkpoints for keeping the iWG informed as the process unfolds.

    To meet our Climate Commitment and achieve carbon neutrality, there is a lot of work that needs to be done.  I look forward to working with the iWG and the SWATeams as this recommendation is pursued.

    Sincerely,

    Morgan B. Johnston

    Associate Director of Sustainability, F&S

  4. Updated RFP schedule from PEI

    Associated Project(s): 

    I am providing an updated schedule for the RFP related to a wind-power PPA for UIUC.  The change reflects a request by one vendor to extend the response period by one week.  Because of that, we have made other slight modifications to target dates for some of the milestones, but the original completion date of April 30, 2015 is maintained.

    If you have any question, please let me know.  Dan Mortland

    Attached Files: 
  5. revised schedule

    Associated Project(s): 

    Morgan,

    I understand the deadline for submitting the RFI was extended until September 5 based on the requests from some vendors for more time to prepare their responses.

    UA / PEI will be forwarding more info and will be looking to keep the overall schedule from being extended.

    Thanks

    Kent

  6. EGen001 Wind PPA recommendation - Assessment with all comments

    The iCAP Working Group (iWG) met on August 28th, 2014, to discuss the EGen001 Wind PPA recommendation, and they started the assessment for this recommendation. 

    See the attached file for complete assessment with comments from all the iWG members.

    See SWATeam recommendation EGen001 Wind PPA here.

  7. EGen001 Wind PPA recommendation - Transmittal to the unit

    The SWATeam recommendation complete with the iWG Assessment with comments from all the iWG members was transmitted to the Facilities & Services on August 28th, 2014.

    For any future updates on this item, please visit the Wind Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) project.

    See iWG Assessment for EGen001 Wind PPA here.

    See SWATeam recommendation EGen001 Wind PPA here.

  8. resource about using wood for energy

    Associated Project(s): 

    There are some environmental advocates who oppose using wood chips for energy. 

    This YouTube video includes the following description: "Forests are also one of our best defenses against global warming, absorbing vast amounts of carbon pollution out of the air. But power companies are increasingly proposing to burn whole trees for energy. Trees are not a "carbon neutral" fuel source. Just like coal, when trees are burned in power plants, the carbon they have accumulated over long periods of time is released into the atmosphere. Unlike coal, however, trees will continue to absorb carbon if left alone. So burning forests for energy not only emits a lot of carbon, but also degrades our carbon sinks. This video shows what happens to the balance of carbon between and forest and the atmosphere when we burn forests to produce energy instead of leaving them standing to continue to absorb and store carbon. Burning forests for electricity is dirty and destructive!" 

    It is shared by the Natural Resources Defence Council.

  9. Joyce Mast coordinating RFP for the rooftop solar installation

    Associated Project(s): 

    Joyce Mast is coordinating a Request for Purchase to buy and install the solar panels that will go on top of the ECE Building.  The building already has the structural supports for the panels, so the purchase will include the racks, PV panels, and inverters.  Joyce is working with ECE's administrative office, the Purchasing Department, and F&S Capital Programs to facilitate this RFP.

  10. EGen001 Wind PPA recommendation - Submittal

    The eGen SWATeam submitted a recommendation to the iWG stating, "We strongly endorse pursuing Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with one or more Wind Farms as soon as possible. Given current market conditions, we believe that a PPA with one or more Wind Farms presents a great opportunity to purchase renewable energy in support of the campus iCAP targets."

    See attached the SWATeam recommendation EGen001 Wind PPA complete with comments from all the eGen SWATeam members.

  11. DCEO grant brings building closer to net-zero goal

    Associated Project(s): 

    The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has awarded a grant of about $250,000 to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building Solar Panels Project.

    The DCEO grant brings the project’s funding to its goal of $900,000. “This award gives us the final piece that will let us do the solar panels on the building itself,” said Professor Philip Krein, chairman of the ECE Building Committee. ECE ILLINOIS is still seeking funding for the large photovoltaic array that will be placed on the nearby parking structure.

    That array’s power generation, added to power generation from the panels on the building and energy savings from the building’s energy-efficient design, will bring the building’s net-zero energy goal in reach. You can donate a solar panel through the Buy a Bit building wish list.

    • The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has awarded a grant of about $250,000 for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Building photovoltaic array.
    • The project for the panels on the ECE Building is now fully funded. Funding is still being sought for the large array on the nearby parking garage that will bring the building's net-zero energy goal in reach.
    • The photovoltaic array on the ECE Building will be installed this fall.
    • See the full ECE article for more information.
  12. Allerton Park Solar Array-Phase II

    Allerton Park already has a solar array located near its Visitors’ Center. The second phase of the Allerton Park Solar Array project involves working with a Learning In Community (LINC) class to construct a second ground-mounted solar recharge array. This second phase builds on the success of the existing array with the adjacent construction of an additional 60 panels. The design of the Phase 2 array utilizes an innovative floating foundation system that allows for portability of the array if necessary. The total array provides 14.7kW of peak power, which translates to a projected annual output of 14,653 kWh(about 15-20% of total apCAP solar goals). Power at the panel and array level can be monitored remotely and be publicly viewable via an online dashboard which displays the impact of the solar power contribution in terms of energy equivalents: gallons of gasoline, light bills, tons of coal, barrels of crude oil, and planted trees.

  13. New ECE Building Project Solar Panels

    The new Electrical and Computer Engineering building (New ECE building) will be operational starting the fall semester of 2014, and will be a unique green building on the University of Illinois campus. It is designed to be the most energy efficient engineering building in the world and is targeting LEED platinum certification, the highest rating for efficiency. With the full planned solar energy complement, the building is projected to achieve net zero energy status. The facility will be one of the two largest net-zero energy buildings in the United States. It will be a facility that supports all its own energy needs – on average over each year – leaving no carbon or fossil consumption footprint. Although the ECE building design itself is intended to achieve LEED Platinum certification, the energy objectives go far beyond this rating to true energy sustainability.

  14. Element House at the Energy Farm

    The 2007 Solar Decathlon house is coming home to Champaign Urbana to a permanent foundation at the University Energy Farm. Funds have been secured for its transportation, placement on a permanent foundation, utility hook ups, and inspection of current systems to ensure safe working order. Funding from the Student Sustainability Committee will defray the costs of upgrading the systems and bringing the house up to code. To meet these goals, the solar array will need to be redesigned and reconstructed; the electrical, lighting, and HVAC systems will need to be updated; and new monitoring equipment will need to be installed. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to have a fully functioning net negative energy residential model home. Student groups are assuming the responsibility for all design, construction, and monitoring tasks as they are able.

  15. Field to Fuel-Biomass

    This project involves purchasing and installing a biomass boiler at the Energy Farm, in order to heat a research greenhouse using Miscanthus that is grown on the Energy Farm. The hope for the project is that a successful pilot will pave the way toward expanded use of biomass heating on our campus in order to reduce our campus greenhouse gas emissions.

  16. SECS Re_home landscaping

    In 2011, students at faculty from the University of Illinois develop the Re_Home for the Solar Decathlon Competition. As a result of a new landscaping and beautification plan, the Re_Home has found a permanent place on campus. In maintaining a “sustainability ideology”, the landscaping plans for this project are geared toward sustainability with the use of native, low maintenance plants as well as vegetables, edible herbs, and fruit trees. The Re_Home is an exemplary embodiment of sustainability and its permanent home will serve as a showcase in sustainability education.

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