Tag Archives: Nebraska colleges and universities

Editorial: Creighton is among Omaha institutions spearheading environmental sustainability

Omaha World-Herald Editorial Staff

It’s encouraging to see how Nebraska’s institutions of higher learning are directing growing attention to environmental sustainability and energy efficiency. Construction projects, too, are prompting increased attention on this important need. Here are just a few of the examples: Continue reading here.

Creighton University photo of the campus’ 85-kilowatt solar canopy on the Cuming Street parking lot.

ALSO OF POTENTIAL INTEREST

Higher Education and Solar Energy: A Partnership Whose Time Has Come

By Geoff Greenfield, Renewable Energy World

Many administrators are not aware of a critical development in deploying clean energy: the majority of modern campus solar projects are built with no capital outlay from the institution. The most popular way institutions are making the shift to clean energy is with solar projects financed by private investors seeking to earn a “clean return” developing and owning these modern power plants. Private investors are able to harvest tax credits that are unavailable to non-taxable institutions, and their investments are repaid by selling clean energy back to the campus over time. In return for “hosting” privately financed solar power plants on rooftops, fields or covered parking areas, colleges are able to purchase clean energy for less than they paid for conventional power. These long-term contracts offer an additional benefit as they replace the volatility and inflation of electricity prices with a predictable locked in rate for 20-30 years. Currently more than 800 colleges or universities across the country offset a portion of their energy costs with some sort of solar array. Read more here.

IN NEBRASKA

Nebraska Colleges & Universities Leading on Sustainability & Climate Action

Colleges and universities in the U.S. and around the world are setting examples of sustainable and carbon-reducing institutions. Nebraska’s colleges and universities are among these leaders, implementing energy conservation measures on their campuses, saving natural resources through comprehensive waste-reduction programs, installing wind (Central Community College and Northeast Community College) and solar energy systems (Creighton University, Doane College, Metro Community College and University of Nebraska-Lincoln), promoting green transportation to cut carbon emissions through shared bike programs and EV charging stations, offering courses on electric vehicles and wind and solar technologies and community forums to educate the general public, creating sustainability and climate action plans, taking part in opportunities abroad to help other communities be more sustainable—plus other measures. Below are links to just some of the sustainability and climate action initiatives, programs, action plans, sustainability reports and news stories about Nebraska’s colleges and universities.

If you know of others, please email them to Helen Deffenbacher at: nebraskansforsolar@gmail.com

Photo: UNL College of Engineering students participating in an opportunity provided by the university’s Education Abroad Program.

CENTRAL COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Central Community College’s 3C Initiative
Sustainability Leadership Presentation Series (SLPS) 
Signatory of the Climate Commitment
Signatory of the Sustainability Education & Economic Development (SEED) Initiative
Central Community College Wind Turbine is a Useful Source of Education, Bluestem Energy Solutions

COLLEGE OF ST. MARY
College of St. Mary’s Climate Action Plan

CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY
Creighton University’s Climate Action Plan
Creighton Energy Club

METRO COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Metro Community College’s 2015 Sustainability Annual Report

NORTHEAST COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Northeast recognized for sustainability, workforce development efforts
Winds of Change: Northeast Community College on leading edge of wind industry’s robust growth
Northeast helps fuel economy through wind energy program, by Dr. Michael Chipps, Northeast Community College President, Norfolk Daily News

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-KEARNEY
UNK makes move to solar energy with NPPD, SoCore agreement, KSNB Hastings
UNK will purchase more than half of the electricity from Nebraska’s largest solar farm in Kearney, Omaha World-Herald
Sustainability Master Plan

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-LINCOLN
UNL Sustainability Initiatives
Extension Education – Biological Systems Engineering
Global Renewable Energy Education Network (GREEN) Program
Nebraska Wind for Schools Project
High Plains Regional Climate Center
Climate Masters of Nebraska – UNL

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA-OMAHA
University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Sustainability Master Plan

UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA MEDICAL CENTER & NEBRASKA MEDICINE 
University of Nebraska Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine Sustainability Master Plan, 2014-2023

ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Department of Energy awards UNL nearly $1.5 million to set up and operate a regional Industrial Assessment Center

On December 14, 2016, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announced nearly $35 million for 28 higher education institutions from 25 states across the country to set up and operate regional Industrial Assessment Centers (IACS). The centers will provide site-specific recommendations to small manufacturers with opportunities to improve productivity, secure information, reduce waste and save energy while providing training for undergraduate and graduate engineering students in manufacturing processes, energy assessment procedures, and energy management system.

To apply for an assessment, contact UNL’s IAC Program Director:
Dr. Robert Williams
Phone: (402) 472-4755
Email: rwilliams2@unl.edu

This post was last updated February 12, 2018.