Assuming that our conservation efforts will cut our energy needs in half, we will have to find ways to produce and/or purchase roughly 250,000 MWh/yr of electricity and 250,000 MWh/yr of heat in a carbon-neutral manner. Campus has made good progr
You are here
Carbon-Neutral Energy for Campus (Ongoing)
The iCAP 2020, objective 2.3 is: "Use clean energy sources for 15% of total campus energy demand by FY30." Clean energy sources can include but are not limited to: solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, biomass, renewable natural gas, and nuclear.
A key concept in the transition to clean energy is the difference between electricity and total energy. In FY19, electricity accounted for just 38% of total campus energy consumption; the district heating and cooling systems and certain buildings with direct natural gas connections accounted for the other 62%. For that reason, the iCAP Working Group agreed that we should add an objective in the iCAP 2020 that focuses on increasing the use of clean thermal energy, in addition to continuing our focus on clean power.
For decades, students, faculty, and staff have worked to incorporate clean energy solutions for campus operations.
- The Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) was originally formed in 2005, well before the first iCAP in 2010, to manage the student fees collected in support of on-campus wind.
- In 2009, our first LEED Certified building on campus, the Business Instructional Facility, included rooftop solar, and became the first medium-scale solar on campus. Since then, the Solar Energy on Campus has continued to thrive and expand.
- In 2014, the first-ever SWATeam recommendation (EGen001) was about entering into an off-campus Wind Power Purchase Agreement (PPA).
- Clean thermal energy on campus includes a 198kW biomass boiler at the Energy Farm, solar thermal water heating at the Activities Rec Center, and several geothermal installations.