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Energy Choices and Climate Change

Objective: Reduce reliance on fossil CO2 emitting energy sources with renewable energy.


Reduce the fossil CO2 emissions from the campus heating plant 30%, by 2019.

  • In 2020, the heating plant is scheduled for a major renovation and upgrade.  Investigate the potential for including a biomass boiler to the portfolio of equipment that will provide heat to the campus.  Also consider the possibility of incorporating a co-generation capability to the upgraded facility.
  • Consider the implementation of geo-thermal heating and cooling to all future new construction and major renovation projects.  Particular attention should be given to the installation of innovative hybrid geo-thermal systems that accommodate partial loads of facilities.
  • Continue to provide annual maintenance to repair steam traps and damaged steam line insulation.
  • Pursue all other opportunities to make the heating plant more energy efficient.
  • Investigate the possibility of building a second biodigester to produce methane that could be added to the fuel mix of the heating plant.
  • Incorporate Passive House Standards for passive solar design into future designs to the extent possible, especially with regards to insulation standards.


Reduce the CO2 emissions/energy consumption from the campus central chiller plant.

  • Consider the installation of thermal ice storage technology, either at the central plant or at individual building sites.
  • Continue to provide annual maintenance to ensure the highest level of operation efficiency of equipment.
  • Consider the installation of absorption chillers as appropriate.
  • Consider the modification of summer work/teaching schedules to start and end earlier in the day so as to avoid high cooling loads in late afternoon.


Increase on-site renewable energy based production to meet 40% of campus energy demand by 2020.

  • Monitor and pursue all federal, state, local and campus incentives/grants for renewable energy opportunities.
  • Identify facilities suitable for roof mounted, fixed, solar photovoltaic installations.
  • Identify parking lots and other sites suitable for pole mounted, solar photovoltaic, tracking systems.
  • Identify sites suitable for small wind turbine installations.
  • Identify facilities suitable for the installation of fuel cell technology.
  • Install systems as funds become available.
  • Identify facilities suitable for the installation of solar thermal technology.


Increase the purchase of off-site renewable energy.

  • Increase the purchase of off-site renewable energy (currently 23%) to 35% by 2019.
  • Explore the further potential for off-site development of large scale renewable energy generation through public-private partnerships such as is currently being pursued with bio-digester development.
  • Consider such installations for the production of gas for use in the heating plant.
by Spanbauer, Bradley R last modified Apr 17, 2014 03:07 PM

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