Energy Consumption on Campus
Most campus buildings are served by central heating and cooling plants. The boiler plant generates steam from the combustion of natural gas and delivers it throughout campus for heating, domestic hot water, and dehumidification purposes. The chiller plant delivers chilled water throughout campus for air conditioning purposes. In FY2011, the campus consumed 1.6 million therms of natural gas and 22.5 million killowatt hours of electricity.
Renewable Energy on Campus
The campus currently has three geothermal systems in place at CERA, the Natatorium, and the Preschool. The CERA installation was the first campus geothermal system and utilized ?? wells ?? deep underneath the parking lot to heat and cool the Environmental Education Center. The second and largest geothermal installation was for the natatorium (indoor pool building). ?? wells drilled ?? feet deep are used to heat and cool the natatorium building. Facilities Management is currently looking into the possibility of incorporating a geothermal system in the the central steam and chilled water systems.
Grinnell College's interest in wind turbines began as a class project by Mia Devine in 1996. Following Mia’s efforts, a wind feasibility committee was created and the college began to earnestly look into the possibility of utilizing wind power. These early efforts yielded the installation of a 50 kw wind turbine at CERA in January of 2007. Studies continued to look at the feasibility of a much larger installation to provide renewable power directly to campus. In February, 2012, the board of trustees approved such an installation pending financing. The current project specifics are as follows:
• Three 1.6MW turbines would be installed roughly 3 miles NE of campus
• The estimated production from these turbines would be 19.3 million kwh
• This electricity would be placed on the college owned electricity grid, with as little as possible flowing back on the public grid
• In order to consume excess electricity, an electric boiler will be added to the boiler plant. When wind generation exceeds campus consumption, the excess will be sent to the boiler and will displace steam generated from the natural gas boilers
• This will reduce the college’s carbon footprint by an estimated 15,600 tons annually
• Estimated project cost is $11.7 million with a payback estimated at 16 years
• The current timeline is estimating a start up in 2014
Solar Hot Water
A solar hot water system was installed on Ecohouse during the summer of 2010.
FY 2011 Emissions
Grinnell College has signed the American College and Universities Presidential Climate Commitment. The next steps inlcude a complete emissions inventory due in January of 2013 and a Climate Action Plan due in January of 2014. Below is a graph of the emissions inventory for FY 2011 in lbs of CO2. The total for FY 2011 was 69,607,896. Note that these totals lack an estimate for air travel.
Gasoline purchased by college
Diesel purchased by college
|Total lbs. CO2||69,607,896|