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Projects Updates for Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award

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  1. Renewable Energy Program award application

    F&S submitted an application for the 2016 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award, on behalf of the Renewable Energy Program on campus and the Solar Farm.  The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is proud of its sustainability initiatives, and Facilities & Services (F&S) is honored to support the campuswide Illinois Climate Action Plan. One of the most important and challenging initiatives is a shift from conventional energy to a future of renewable energy.

    F&S is submitting this application to the Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Award for the Renewable Energy Program and specifically the new 20-acre Solar Farm. Five major Renewable Energy Program projects have been implemented since signing the Climate Commitment in 2008. The first Renewable Energy Program project was a 32.76 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the roof of the Business Instructional Facility. The 14 kW PV array at the Building Research Council is a research platform for the Illinois Center for Smarter Electricity Grid. Solar thermal panels on the Activities and Recreation Center roof heat the swimming pools. The fourth project was the purchase of 20,000 Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from Midwest Independent Systems Operators (MISO) wind power in April 2014. The most significant project went into commercial operation in December 2015, with the completion of the 5.87 megawatt (direct current) Solar Farm. The Solar Farm will produce an estimated 7,860 megawatt-hours annually and is expected to generate up to 91% of its original output even in Year 20 of the project. F&S is monitoring the efficiency of the Solar Farm, compared to the design specifications, and in February 2016 the Solar Farm produced 100.2% of the anticipated electricity for that month.

  2. University Housing award application

    University Housing applied for (and later won) the 2015 Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award. 

    Housing has implemented sustainable efforts across our organization. By working together, we make significant change that also impacts the environment and our bottom line. Our residents and staff benefit from local foods; clean, non-toxic facilities; and gain education and contribute to a sustainable future. Our sustainability initiatives have resulted in cost savings on raw food, food waste, water, electricity, and chemicals. Our recycling efforts have diverted tons of waste from landfills. And our education efforts help our residents and staff members see how their actions and choices contribute to sustainability efforts.

  3. Crop Sciences and IDOT award application

    IDOT submitted an application for the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award in 2014, for work completed in collaboration with the University of Illinois Crop Sciences department. 

    This project involved collaboration and coordination between UIUC Department of Crop Sciences, the IDOT sustainability manager, and IDOT roadway maintenance field staff.  The Illinois Department of Transportation is interested in utilizing suitable areas of Right-of-Ways to produce cellulosic grasses for ethanol and biomass energy. The goal of this study is to investigate the use of Illinois highway right-of-ways for energy crop production to generate additional revenue to defray the cost of road maintenance and improve the environment.

  4. Illinois Wins 2013 Governor's Sustainability Award!

    University of Illinois sustainability staff accepting the Illinois State Governor's Award

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Illinois) was one of 27 organizations , one of 4 educational institutions (Jefferson Middle School, Lewis & Clark Comm. College, UIC and UIUC) awarded the Governor’s Sustainability Award on October 29, 2013.  The Governor’s Award recognizes organizations for their demonstrated commitment to environmental excellence through outstanding and innovative sustainability practices.  Winners are selected through a rigorous process of review and examination.  Illinois was recognized for its efforts in the reduction of energy and water consumption, as well as for waste diversion. 


  5. University of Illinois award application for continuous improvement

    The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was submitted (and later recognized) in the continuous improvement category for the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award in 2013.  It is clear that this campus is serious about meeting our commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050.  This was emphasized this year, when “Energy, Environment, and Sustainability” was identified as a top priority for the Urbana-Champaign campus.  Through the many iCAP projects completed and in progress, the campus is becoming a better steward of our financial, human, and natural resources.  Our goal is to be the model of sustainability for campuses across the globe.

  6. Office of Sustainability award application

    The Office of Sustainability (OS) applied for the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award in 2012.  The OS provides overarching leadership to transform campus into a model for sustainability and to integrate sustainability principles into our campus culture.  The OS scope of work encompasses all components of the University’s mission: education, research, and engagement, as well as effecting change in campus operations and policies.  The OS sets campus-wide sustainability goals and works to enhance communication and collaboration among campus units to achieve these goals. The OS also provides organizational leadership for numerous sustainability initiatives that bring together campus and community on campus. Much of the work by the OS is about educating, motivating, communicating, and celebrating sustainability with various stakeholders.

  7. Retrocommissioning award application

    The Retro-commissioning (RCx) team applied for (and later won) the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award in 2011.  RCx at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was established in 2007 and has been working to reduce energy consumption in campus buildings by repairing and optimizing their air and hydronic systems and restoring buildings to their required operating standards.

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  8. Student Sustainability Committee award application

    The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) applied for (and later won) the Illinois Governor's Sustainability Award in 2010. 

    SSC is a sub-entity of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with the primary purpose of bringing potential sustainable projects to fruition on the campus of UIUC. Students on the committee, advised by University administrators and faculty members, evaluate and select sustainable projects to fund through a comprehensive three-step project approval process. Through its selection process, the committee exercises its enormous potential in seeding and developing novel and innovative sustainable practices in construction, building and grounds management, and energy production.