Hampshire College, a Massachusetts liberal arts school, has announced it has moved to 100% solar power on campus, while claiming it’s the first US residential college to do so.
According to recorder.com, Hampshire is working with SolarCity Corporation, a subsidiary of Tesla Inc. Under the agreement, SolarCity owns and operates the college’s 15,000 photovoltaic-panel arrays, and the college purchases electricity from the company at a fixed rate. Tesla has also provided the school with batteries for emergency backup power.
The college estimates the project will eliminate 3,000 metric tons of greenhouse-gas emissions every year, and save an estimated $8 million over 20 years.
Other Schools Going the Renewable Route
In December 2017, it was announced that a deteriorated, decommissioned 104-year-old heating plant on the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus was resurrected as a cutting-edge “co-generation” — or combined heat and power — utility that is 83% energy-efficient, which is more than double the efficiency of a coal-fired power plant. The University of Minnesota has reinvested in the former Old Main Heating Plant, replacing old boilers with a new 22.8 megawatt combustion turbine and heat recovery system that will generate electric power and steam for the Minneapolis campus.
Bucknell University’s energy-saving health and wellness building earned LEED Silver certification, making it the eighth construction project on campus to achieve at least basic LEED certification, the university reported in December. The 36,000-square-foot Graham Building uses 26% less energy than buildings with conventional energy systems. The building was created through a $12 million investment, and officially opened in 2016. It currently houses the student health center, the counseling and development center, and a training facility for the university’s wrestling team.
In October 2017, Howard University completed an exterior LED retrofit project to save money, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and improve safety on campus. The project received funding from the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) and was completed by contractor GB Energie LED, an African-American, woman-owned business based in Washington, DC, that provides lighting for several sectors such as education, government, commercial and industrial.
Vendors mentioned in this article:
- GB Energie LED
Mark your calendars: The 3rd Annual Environmental Leader & Energy Manager Conference takes place May 15 – 17, 2018 in Denver. Learn more here.