Energy Efficiency Goes to School

by | Feb 15, 2017

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Boston CollegeGreen Charge is installing a 1MW/2MWh storage system at the Napa Valley campus of Pacific Union College, according to the company.

The press release says that Union will save almost $800,000 during the course of the 10 year agreement. The savings will come from demand charge reduction and participation in demand response programs run by Pacific Gas and Electric. The platform automatically compensates for spikes in use that otherwise would be satisfied by higher cost grid energy. The battery recharge during off hours when power is less expensive.

Environment America and the Student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) asked that American institutions of higher learning to move to 100 percent renewable energy. The effort, which was announced in a joint statement released yesterday, already is well underway:

Hundreds of colleges and universities already pledged to achieve carbon neutrality as signatories of the Climate Leadership Commitment. Universities that eliminate use of fossil fuels will play an important role in transitioning the nation to 100 percent renewable energy. The campaign launched as hundreds of college administrators, sustainability directors and clean energy experts met to collaborate on achieving their carbon emission reduction targets.

The press release says Climate Leadership Commitment has led to more than 500,000,000 kWh of renewable energy is being produced annually at these institutions.

Deep work was recently finished at the Rexburg, ID, campus of Brigham Young University. The Desert News highlighted three new buildings at the school. One of these is the Central Energy Facility. It was completed last summer. The facility replaces the previous coal-fired boiler with natural gas to heat the campus, which is 2.5 million square feet. It was cited by Rocky Mountain Power for the increase in efficiency over the previous infrastructure.

The story says that the turbine pumps heat that reaches 1,000 degrees into a heat recovery steam generator and then dispatched to campus buildings. It now can create 10,000 pounds of steam per hour and can be expanded to 50,000 pounds per hour. The system also has a fuel backup system.
Colleges and universities are tremendous opportunities for energy efficiency. They are 24/7, multi-building operations. Of equal importance is the mentality of the residents: Younger people generally applaud steps taken to drive energy efficiency and renewable operations.

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