Category Archives: Green Campuses

One third of the world’s power now comes from renewable energy

By Perry Miller, Inhabitat

After years of hard work and dedication, a third of the power generated around the world is now linked to renewable energy. The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) just
released new data that shows impressive growth in both wind and solar energy, which has
contributed to the changes in energy sources around the globe. Read more here.

Photo posted by Inhabitat via IRENA.

ALSO IN THE NEWS – PLUS A FEATURED VIDEO

OP-ED 

You can’t kill the solar industry — and all attempts just make us stronger, by Tony Clifford, Chief
Development Officer of Standard Solar, PV Magazine 

Illinois is beginning to build a robust solar industry in the wake of passing its Future Energy Jobs Act of 2016, and they’re in the process of following it up with a Clean Energy Jobs Act this year. And they’re not the only Midwestern state to join the Solar Revolution. Minnesota is the birthplace of the best community solar program in the nation, and Michigan is (albeit slowly) bringing its solar policies into the 21st century.

FPL announces plans for the largest community solar program in the U.S.

Florida Power & Light Company News Release, PR Newswire
FPL is a subsidiary of NextEra Energy.

FPL SolarTogether will significantly expand solar energy in Florida. Pending PSC approval, FPL plans to install 1,490 MW of new universal solar at 20 new solar power plants across its service territory to meet anticipated customer enrollment in the program.  “This program will more
than double the amount of community solar currently in the U.S.” – Eric Silagy, President and CEO of FPL. Read more here.

MORE ENERGY TRANSITION NEWS

Toyota Driving Demand For Solar Power In Ohio Valley,
WKU Public Radio

Automaker Toyota is planning to announce a major
investment in solar and other renewable energy in
Appalachia and the Southeastern U.S. The plan includes a
massive new solar facility on an old surface coal mine
property in Kentucky. Photo by Sydney Boles: Part of the
700-acre surface mine still remains to be reclaimed.

GREEN CAMPUSES

Cornell’s Renewable Energy Initiatives: From 115-Year-Old Hydroelectric Plant to Rooftop Solar Farms, Cornell Sun
University of Michigan renewable energy deal could help cut campus emissions 25 percent, Michigan Live
Campbell school district leases land for solar power savings, Youngstown Vindicator

RV SOLAR

 

Consider These 7 Key Benefits Of Solar Power For RVing,
Blue and Green Tomorrow

LiveGreen: Solar panels up, operational

By Melanie Stewart, Live Green, UNMC Newsroom  

The 1,487 solar panels sit atop the three largest roof surfaces on the UNMC campus. 

The panels can generate up to 500 kilowatts of solar-powered electricity to help power the campus, and “its energy production will equal the average annual electricity use of 60 homes in OPPD’s service territory,” said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project . . . Darren Dageforde, executive director of utilities and energy utilization for UNMC, said the med center already has made great strides in reducing energy use and increasing efficiency. “Having a renewable energy source on campus demonstrates our commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030 and parallels our mission to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities.” Read the entire article here.

Previously Posted

OPPD partnering with UNMC on state’s largest rooftop solar array, by Jodi Baker, The Wire

Schools, manufacturers working to “grow our own”

Written by Tony Herman, Hastings Tribune

The Hastings Economic Development Corp.’s 45th annual meeting, Thursday evening at The Lark celebrated the work that colleges and school districts in Hastings are exerting to develop young talent and the future workforce . . . CCC broke ground in September 2018 for a 32,000-square-foot renovation and expansion of the Hamilton Building after the CCC Foundation met its $5 million fundraising goal six months ahead of schedule. The Hamilton Building is home to CCC’s advanced manufacturing design technology and welding technology programs . . . CCC is also working on potential partnerships for an energy technology program with companies that are either based in Nebraska or have a presence in Nebraska to train students to work in the renewable energy field in Nebraska. Read the entire article here.

Photo: The wind turbine on the CCC campus that came online in December 2016 has generated 120 percent of the campus’ energy needs in its first two years. Bluestem Energy Solutions of Omaha built and owns the turbine; Hastings Utilities buys and sells the electricity – including to CCC. 

Previously Posted

Lazards, Lazards, LCOE – what’s the cheapest energy?

By John Weaver, PV Magazine USA

Yesterday, Lazards released its Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) analysis version 12.0 for Energy (pdf), and Version 4.0 for Energy Storage (pdf). The document shows that utility scale wind, solar offer the cheapest absolute electricity pricing – without subsidies. When federal tax subsidies are applied, essentially politically palatable forms of a carbon tax, we see all thin film solar cheaper than all gas, and the majority of crystalline silicon solar cheaper than gas. Rooftop solar for residential and commercial, with its broad price ranges representing the broad classes of projects they cover, shows higher pricing. However, this analysis doesn’t consider the additional benefits including avoided costs achieved with behind-the-meter installations, and as such it isn’t a pure apples-to-apples comparison. Read more here.

MORE NATIONAL NEWS


ENERGY STORAGE 

NATIONAL SOLAR EXAMPLES

 

Friends of Venice Library to kick off solar power fundraiser with panel discussion, Herald-Tribune. Iconic nature photographer and environmentalist Clyde Butcher to serve as spokesman.

 

  • Wisconsin importer and distributor invests in solar energy, Fresh Plaza
    Maglio Companies, an importer and distributor of fresh produce, has installed over 1,100 solar panels on the roof of its Glendale, Wisconsin facility. This array is expected to produce an estimated 477,000 kilowatt hours of sustainable electricity each year. This is equivalent to the annual energy usage of 58 average Wisconsin homes.
  • Minnesota company turns abandoned sand pit into a solar garden, Red Wing Republican Eagle
  • State’s largest solar farm nearing production, The Spokesman-Review. Washington’s largest solar farm will begin commercial production next month in this Columbia Basin town better known for its annual Combine Demolition Derby. Nearly 82,000 solar panels have been installed near Lind’s pioneer-era cemetery, resembling a mirage on the dusty landscape. Sensors adjust the angle of the flat, blue panels throughout the day, allowing them to maximize the capture of solar rays.

GREEN CAMPUSES

Carport Solar Array Receives 2018 Innovative Project Award, MSU Today
Michigan State University’s solar carport project received the 2018 Innovative Project Award from the U.S. Green Building Council of West Michigan. The award recognizes exemplary projects in the region exhibiting features above and beyond the status quo. MSU’s solar carport array is constructed on five of the university’s largest commuter parking lots and covers 5,000 parking spaces.


Learn about more initiatives here: The Princeton Review Guide to 399 Green Colleges, 2018 Edition

 

INNOVATIVE TRANSIT APP

Transit app raises $17.5M with the help of unlikely investors: automakers, Smart Cities Dive

CCC center in Kearney showcases technology

Kearney Hub 

One year ago we raved when Central Community College opened its 63,000-square-foot center in southwest Kearney. The structure at 11th Street and 30th Avenue employs numerous strategies for energy efficiency. Among the strategies are innovative skylights, solar-powered lights in the parking lot, walls that seal out heat and cold, and windows that can darken like sunglasses to reduce the greenhouse effect to rein in air conditioning costs.

The CCC Kearney Center also is purchasing power from the SoCore solar array at TechoNE Crossing, Nebraska’s largest solar array. Combined with the many efficiencies, adding the solar power boosts the center’s green rating and makes it a model of modern eco-friendly engineering, construction and facility operations. Continue reading here.

Top Photo Credit: Morrissey Engineering

KEARNEY’S COMMUNITY SOLAR FARM

Project: Kearney’s solar farm consists of approximately 23,000 panels on 53 acres located in the city’s technology park, Tech oNE Crossing, The panels are mounted on a tracker-designed racking system. To date, the array is Nebraska’s largest solar project, generating 5.8 megawatts of electricity, or about 5% of Kearney’s peak demand.
Developer: SoCore Energy
Installer: Interconnection Systems based in Central City, Nebraska
NPPD’s SunWise Community Solar Program
Kearney Community Solar Q&A
Kearney NPPD customers can purchase shares here.

Photo Credit: SoCore Energy, LLC

UNMC to get 1,500 solar panels, enough to equal electricity use of 60 homes

By Julie Anderson, Omaha World-Herald

There is no shortage of rooftops on the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s growing campus. Now the university is working to put some of that space to another use, partnering with the Omaha Public Power District to install nearly 1,500 solar panels on top of three campus buildings.

The installation, which will total 500 kilowatts of solar capacity, is expected to become the largest rooftop solar array in the state. At that size, the array’s energy production will equal the average annual electricity use of 60 homes in OPPD’s service territory, said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project. Continue reading here.

Photo Credit: Morrissey Engineering

Telesis Inc’s net-zero energy business complex in Lincoln’s Haymarket is the next largest rooftop solar array in Nebraska.

Project: J-Tech Solar collaborated with SWT Energy on this nearly 300-kilowatt photovoltaic system on top of the former Meadow Gold Dairy House at Seventh and M Streets in Lincoln’s historic Haymarket. The business complex is now owned by Telesis, Inc. With 940 solar panels, the array is one of the largest privately-owned solar projects in Nebraska.

J-Tech’s thirteen-member installation crew worked closely with restoration contractors to integrate the system into existing and historical structures. Federal tax incentives, rebates from Lincoln Electric System and the steady rise in the cost of electricity were driving factors in the owner’s decision to complete such a large project. Also, the price of solar systems has decreased more than 70% since 2009.
News Story: Telesis going for net-zero energy use in Dairy House complex, by Nicholas Bergin, Lincoln Journal Star

OPPD partnering with UNMC on state’s largest rooftop solar array

By Jodi Baker, OPPD Blog, The Wire

Darren Dageforde, executive director of utilities and energy utilization for UNMC, said the med center has already made great strides in reducing its energy use and increasing efficiency. “Having a renewable energy source on campus demonstrates our commitment to being carbon neutral by 2030 and parallels our mission to create a healthy future for all individuals and communities.” This solar installation is expected to be the largest rooftop system in Nebraska, said Jared Friesen of Morrissey Engineering, which designed the project. Read more here.

Photo Credit: Morrissey Engineering

Jared Friesen is immediate Past President of Nebraskans for Solar. Our nonprofit has the governing structure of President, President-Elect, and Past President.

OPPD NEWS RELEASE
OPPD To Consider Updating Plant Decommissioning Method
Due to the great strides made by Omaha Public Power District employees in the decommissioning of Fort Calhoun Station (FCS), the utility will consider a timely, more economical approach. In a presentation shared with the OPPD Board of Directors during their committee meetings Tuesday, the district’s senior management team provided the option of shifting from the SAFSTOR (safe storage) decommissioning method to DECON (decontamination) . . . DECON has the potential to save the utility up to an estimated $200 million, due to reduced building maintenance and upkeep.

Inspiring National Solar Example

Here comes the sun: How Hampshire College moved to
100 percent solar energy,
by Adam Wernick, PRI

Hampshire College, with about 1,400 students in Western Massachusetts, has become the first residential US college with 100 percent solar electricity. “This is a great story that people don’t know about,” says Hampshire’s president, Jonathan Lash. “There are a lot of colleges and universities around the country who have decided to just get on with it. Some of their systems are bigger than ours. We’re pretty proud that we decided to go 100 percent and that we’re a small, not-very-well-resourced college out in snow country that’s able to do this.”
Read more here.

This article is based on an interview that aired on PRI’s Living on Earth with Steve Curwood.
Before becoming president of Hampshire College, Jonathan Lash was president of the World Resources Institute.

Photo Credit: Hampshire College

Billion Dollar Green Challenge

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge initiative advocates for the efficacy of green revolving funds (GRFs), and works to increase the number and size of self-managed green revolving funds at nonprofit institutions across the United States.

The Challenge provides support for new and established  green revolving funds at colleges and universities. A GRF is a financing mechanism targeted to campus climate action projects that lower emissions, increase capacity for future projects, and reduce operating costs.

The Billion Dollar Green Challenge was founded by the Sustainable Endowments Institute in 2011. Second Nature oversees and manages US colleges and universities within the initiative. Learn more.

Resources

Case Studies

Participate

US Higher Education institutions can get more information or choose to participate in the Billion Dollar Green Challenge by emailing rwoodside@secondnature.org