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Projects Updates for Carbon Credit Purchasing Program with Second Nature

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  1. Resilience iCAP Team April Meeting

    Resilience iCAP Team had its online April meeting on Friday, April 14th, at 1 PM. The team had two guests: Annie Cebulski and Kejsi Ago. Annie presented the carbon offsets that the university has to purchase and gave some recommendations on how to complete these purchases. Afterward, the team discussed next steps for a potential statement and/or recommendation on this carbon offset purchasing. Meeting minutes are attached. 

  2. Energy Farm Mini Agrivoltaics

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


    From: Khanna, Madhu <khanna1 at> 
    Sent: Thursday, February 09, 2023 3:37 AM
    To: Kamarah, Ehab <ekamarah at>; White, Morgan <mbwhite at>
    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.







    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:; phone: 217-333-5176; fax: 217-333-5538





    From: Mies, Tim <tmies at> 
    Sent: Tuesday, February 7, 2023 1:50 PM
    To: Khanna, Madhu <khanna1 at>
    Cc: Bernacchi, Carl J <bernacch at>
    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.



  3. Funding Approval for Grind2Energy

    Ehab Kamarah and Madhu Khanna approved $135,000 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for the Grind2Energy system.

    "This project will install the Grind2Energy system for food waste at the Lincoln Avenue
    Dining Hall on campus... Housing has successfully installed the Grind2Enery system as a sustainable solution for dining hall pre-consumer and post-consumer food waste in four of the five dining halls. This funding would allow them to complete the final installation before the student body returns in fall 2022." -Morgan White (12/14/2021)


    An email of approval is attached below.

  4. Information Regarding Grind2Energy Funding for LAR

    The following message was sent to Morgan White to share with Carbon Credit Fund Administrators by Thurman Etchison, the Assistant Director of Dining - Facilities and Equipment, on November 18, 2021. The email & attachments contain important information regarding the potential installation of a Grind2Energy system at LAR:

    Carbon Credit Fund Administrators,


    Housing Dining Services is seeking funds to add a Grind 2 Energy system to our Lincoln Avenue Dining Hall. Grind 2 Energy is a system that allows us to put our food waste into a pumpable slurry so that it may be taken to an anerobic digester at the Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District. These systems replace the aerobic digesters we previously had in our dining units. The aerobic digesters had issues with the effluent not meeting EPA standards.


    This system would be our fifth and likely final system as we would have one at every residential dining location. These are operational at Ikenberry, PAR, FAR and ISR. Currently, University Housing does not have resources to fund this project due to the impact of COVID on our budget. We would reach out to the Student Sustainability Committee for funding but for us to do the infrastructure work and have the unit installed prior to the next school year, we need to start before the next round of submissions.


    The use of Grind 2 Energy has been a very successful program for us. It meets our needs, keeps us in compliance with regulatory bodies, is comparable in costs to other methods of disposal. It is very sustainable in terms of the environment. To date, we have diverted 289 tons of food waste even though there was limited use until this school year.


    The amount we are requesting is $133,538.00. A simple breakdown of our expected costs is below. As our tradespeople have installed the 4 previous units, we believe this number to be very accurate. Our last unit came in within $1000 of our estimate.


    LAR Grind 2 Energy – Preliminary Budget Cost

    • LAR Grind 2 Energy System (equipment and labor)…..................................................................... $86,000
      • (Rigging fees)........................................................................................................................... $4,650
    • Concrete Slab Work (existing planter modifications site work & new concrete slab)….................... $23,100
    • New Wall at Table (Demolition, floor work, ceiling work, MEP & new wall)…................................... $19,788
    • TOTAL:                                                                                                                                              $133,538


    I would like to add that these units are highly visible on campus and it is our intention to start highlighting the metrics in our dining units via electronic messaging. This may include digital displays, The Housing Insider and social media platforms. There is also great deal of interest in biogas impact from these units. I have met with 2 groups of students from the CEE 190 class about these units in the past month.


    In short, this program reduces carbon emissions, produces fertilizer and creates energy. The systems are highly reliable and have had almost no issues to date. Please see the attachments for additional info.


    Thank you for your consideration, 



    Assistant Director of Dining - Facilities and Equipment


  5. Funding Approval for Resilience Development Proposal

    Madhu Khanna and Ehab Kamarah approved $18,025 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for a Resilience Development Proposal.

    "The Resilience Commitment, signed in 2016, was incorporated in the iCAP for the first time in the 2020 version, with a list of seven specific objectives. iSEE is the primary department responsible for helping campus achieve these ambitious goals. We request approval to fund a 20-hour/week contract with ARI to have Stacy Gloss work to develop the structure and plan for completing these objectives. The cost of a six-month agreement is $17,500" (the cost was updated with the new fiscal year due to a salary change) -Morgan White (08/13/2021)

    An email of the approval is attached below.

  6. News-Gazette article about CIF geothermal

    The News-Gazette printed this story about the geothermal at the Campus Instructional Facility:


    "URBANA — The University of Illinois’ glossy new building at Springfield Avenue and Wright Street represents the next step in its sustainability goals.

    The four-story, 122,000- square-foot, $75 million Campus Instructional Facility is also the biggest geothermal installation on the UI campus.

    Its geothermal system can pump 135 tons of hot or cool air into the building. That’s twice as much as the next biggest geothermal system on campus, and about 30 times the amount pumped into an average home.

    “The whole world knows about solar and wind power and things like that — hydroelectric power, too — but that’s only the electric side of energy. Energy also includes heating and cooling,” said Morgan White, director of sustainability at UI Facilities & Services. “It’s truly transformative, because it’s moving into the phase of getting us clean thermal energy and not just clean electricity.”

    Electricity provides heating and cooling as well, she said, but it’s primarily provided by natural gas, propane and other nonrenewable sources of energy.

    The key to the geothermal endeavor? Forty boreholes dug into the Bardeen Quad next to Grainger Library. They’re 20 feet apart, 6 inches wide and drilled 450 feet deep.

    Initially, the project required 60 boreholes, but UI researchers reduced that figure — and made the system financially feasible — by checking the thermal conductivity of different rock and soil layers, or the rate that heat passes through them, while considering the depth and flow rate of groundwater.

    To keep the building temperate year-round, a mixture of water and glycol circulates from a heat pump in the mechanical room into a pipe that runs up and down the underground field of boreholes.

    In winter, the pump pulls heat from the ground into the building. In summer, heat is pumped from the building back into the ground.

    “It’s like when you have a bathtub that’s a little too hot or a little too cold, and you pour some water in and stir it up,” White said.

    In all, the system reduces the building’s energy consumption by 65 percent compared to a typical heating/cooling installation, saving about $45,000 per year.

    Student initiatives helped fund the state-of-the-art thermal system. The 18-member Student Sustainability Committee, funded by the annual “Green Fee” assessed on students, allocated $375,000 — or about 13 percent of the system’s cost — to the facility’s geothermal installation.

    The building has a number of other unique features. It contains two dozen new classrooms — one of the highest figures on campus — replete with active-learning and distance-learning spaces. In the fall, engineering courses will occupy most of the space, along with math, statistics and other technical classes.

    The facility is also the first UI building funded through a public-private partnership, which allows for tax-exempt financing.

    Meanwhile, faculty and graduate students will use temperature information from a 385-foot-deep monitoring well, funded by Facilities & Services and the Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment, for continued research opportunities. 

    As part of the Illinois Climate Action Plan, the university plans to get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

    Currently, around 12 percent of electricity is provided by renewable sources, like the solar and wind farms near campus, White said. But only 4.5 percent of the UI’s total energy use, counting thermal, comes from renewable sources.

    “Clean electricity is important, but it’s not enough,” White said.

    In the planning stages, the UI wasn’t supposed to start implementing geothermal systems until 2035, but a suggestion by Yu-Feng Forrest Lin of the Prairie Research Institute jump-started that process."

  7. First Team Meeting for Building Envelope Pilot Project

    The Building Envelope Pilot Project team held the first of three large meetings planned for the Building Envelope Pilot Project, which is funded in Spring 2021 with the SSC and Carbon Credit Sales funding. F&S, ICRT, and a student representative met to confirm the scope for the thermal imaging and blower door testing. We started with introductions of the team members and a general voerview of the pilot project.  Then ICRT leadership provided background information about ICRT, envelope commissioning benefits and processes, and initial expectations for the requirements to complete this project at the Transportation Building. At the end of the call, we defined next steps for getting the thermoimaging vendor on contract, specifying the equipment needs for the blower door testing, and scheduling the actual testing day. A tentative date to consider is April 13th, which is a non-instructional day this spring.

  8. Funding Approval for Outdoor Recycling Bins

    Evan DeLucia and Mohamed Attalla approved $310,000 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for replacing outdoor trash receptacles with trash and recycling dual bins.


    An email of the approval is attached below.

    A project memo is attached below.

  9. Funding Approval for iCAP Portal Maintenance and Improvements

    Evan De Lucia and Mohamed Attalla approved $50,000 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for iCAP Portal maintenance and improvements for FY20 to FY23. 

    "This will allow us to continue improvements to the iCAP Portal and continue to enhance the usability
    and impact of this well-used resource." -Morgan White (06/01/2020)

    The email of funding approval is attached below.

    The Memorandum of Understanding between iSEE, F&S, and MSTE is attached below.

  10. Funding Approval for Energy Advisor for Solar Farm 3.0

    Mohamed Attalla and Evan DeLucia approved $17,000 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for an Energy Advisor for Solar Farm 3.0, Customer First Renewables.

    An email of the approval is attached below.


  11. Tree Campus USA Celebration - Zoom Meeting

    Thank you to everyone who joined us live or watches later on the CCNet Facebook page!  We enjoyed a great turnout for the Tree Campus USA Celebration, with about 35 people on the Zoom call and a reach of 365 on Facebook.

    This event included a review of the five years that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been designated as a Tree Campus USA, by Brent Lewis. Senior in Integrative Biology student, Maddie Smith, presented the results of her diversity analysis for the campus' urban forest, and the F&S Tree Surgeons, Dustin Reifsteck and Sky Drewes, answered tree-related questions.  At the end of the hour, community announcements included Arbor Day and Earth Month events coming up.

    Celebrate National Arbor Day next week on April 24, 2020!

    Links from announcements and presentation

    The event concluded with a round of thanks, and several were captured in the chat log.

    12:56:43     From  Eliana Brown : Thank you to the Grounds Dept!
    12:58:28     From  Samantha Fisher : Thank you for this presentation! I really enjoy your monthly presentations.
    13:00:02     From  Stacy Gloss : Thanks CCNET for a great presentation today. Awesome collaborative effort.  Everyone have a great day!
    13:00:33     From  ekamarah : Thank you everyone for these interesting presentations and conversations. Have a great day.
    13:00:37     From  Brent Lewis : Yes, thank you everyone!
    13:00:49     From  Eliana Brown : Thank you, everyone! Great job!
    13:01:08     From  pattsi : Stay well everyone
    13:01:12     From  Marya Ryan : Yes, great presentations! So glad to reconnect with CCNet after a few years away.
    13:01:24     From  Miranda Vieson : Thanks!
    13:01:25     From  Marcus Ricci : It was a great presentation, with all of the different presenters nicely tying in to the theme. The Q&A was cool.
    13:01:26     From  Jenna Kurtzweil : Thanks, everyone!!
    13:01:26     From  Kate Gardiner : Love CCNet, thanks Morgan!

  12. Second Nature Payment to UIUC

    Second Nature paid UIUC for the sale of vintage 2017 carbon credits to Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) as part of UIUC's participation in the Carbon Credit and Purchasing Program.

    Second Nature transferred 2,865 vintage Carbon Credits (VCUs) to BP Target Neutral (BPTN) on behalf of UIUC.

    For this sale, UIUC receives $6.25 per credit. The total amount paid to UIUC for this sale is $17,906.25


    An email of confirmation of this payment is attached below.


  13. Carbon Credit Funding Approval for Energy Piles at Hydro-Systems Lab

    $230,000 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund was approved for Energy Piles at Hydro-Systems Lab by Evan DeLucia and Mohamed Attalla


    Purpose of Project:

    "This project will install 8 energy piles in the foundation of the Hydro-Systems Lab on campus, and provide new research capabilities and a geothermal exchange system for reduction of energy demand from that building." -Morgan White (2/6/19)


    An email of the approval is linked below.

  14. Funding Approval for Geothermal Characterization/Monitoring Station

    Evan De Lucia and Mohamed Attalla approved $65,610 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for a Geothermal Characterization/Monitoring Station at John Bardeen Quad.


    An email of approval is attached below.

    The project proposal is attached below.

  15. Funding Approval for MSTE to update the iCAP portal website

    Evan De Lucia and Mohamad Attalla approved $15,000 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for MSTE (Office of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education) to make improvements and new coding designs to the iCAP Portal.


    An email of approval is attached below.

  16. Funding Approval for Green Restaurant

    Mohamed Attalla and Evan De Lucia approved $32,000 of funding from the Carbon Credit Sales Fund for the Green Restaurant Certification Pilot.

    "The requested funds will fully cover a five-year pilot of Green Restaurant Certification for all campus dining facilities and University Catering." -Micah Kenfield (11/8/2018)


    An email of approval and the benefits the project will provide is attached below.


  17. Sale of Carbon Credits to Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF)

    1,075 Carbon Credits (CCs) were sold to BEF @ $6.25/CC.

    This sale resulted in $6,718.75 being added to the Carbon Credit Sales Fund.


    An email explaining the sale is attached below.

    An email with transaction information is attached below.