he said. “Much of our greenhouse gas
efforts are directed towards decreasing the
use of electricity, steam and chilled water. If
we decrease those uses, obviously there is
less cost for the institution.”
Echoing the sentiment, Vice President
for Facilities Michael McKay added that in
coming years, “if anything, there will be
more emphasis on achieving sustainability
Another of the university’s energy-related goals is providing better insulation
for campus heating pipes, Burstein said,
thereby reducing the university’s energy
consumption and saving money. Other proposed and current sustainability measures
include increasing recycling, installing green
roofs, curbing student paper usage, collecting rainwater for later use, instituting tray-less dining and converting to Green Seal-certified cleaning products.
Two new construction projects – a
dormitory complex and chemistry building
– that incorporate sustainable features are
under way on campus, unlike other projects put on hold as a result of the economic downtown. They are scheduled to open
in fall 2009 and fall 2010, respectively.
The educational goals of Princeton’s
Sustainability Plan, including teaching and
research initiatives, which do not reduce
university operating costs, will also be able
to continue, with funding from the High
Low Grades on Key
Americans give the nation poor grades
on key energy challenges, according to
“The Energy Learning Curve™,” a survey
by nonpartisan opinion research and citizen
engagement organization Public Agenda.
Additional survey findings were released
April 13 on a PBS television special in association with the Web-to-television project
Planet Forward produced by the Public
Affairs Project at The George Washington
The survey reflects a serious knowledge
deficit among the public. Half of all Americans
can’t identify a renewable energy source and
nearly 4 in 10 cannot name a fossil fuel. See
New CHP Plant Dedicated at UMass Amherst
University and state officials dedicated University of Massachusetts Amherst’s
$133 million Central Heating Plant in an April 23 ceremony at the facility.
The combined-cycle facility, which generates both electricity and steam, uses natural
gas and oil and can be expanded with new equipment to burn biofuels such as wood
chips, according to James Cahill, director of facilities and campus planning. It replaces
an obsolete, coal-burning facility dating back to 1918 and has reduced the campus’s
greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 75 percent. The CHP plant produces nearly
twice as much steam as and five times more power than the previous plant.
Housed in a 45,000-sq-ft building with a 95,000-sq-ft ‘big roof’ that covers the facility
and associated storage tanks, the plant has the look of a fieldhouse. The design also
features a south-facing glass wall to reduce winter heating costs.
The plant uses natural gas and oil and can be fitted with new equipment to burn
biofuels such as wood chips when they become available. It also recycles municipal
wastewater treatment plant effluent for use as boiler makeup water, reducing demand
on the local public drinking water supply. For more about the UMass Amherst plant,
read the article “UMass CHP Project: Campus system a technical and environmental
model” from District Energy magazine’s fourth quarter 2007 issue at www.districtenergy-
Among the officials attending the ceremony were University President Jack M. Wilson;
Robert Sheridan, chairman of the UMass Building Authority; Edward W. Collins Jr., a
member of the board of trustees; Chancellor Robert C. Holub; Joyce M. Hatch, vice
chancellor for administration and finance; and Robert Thornton, president of the
International District Energy Association.
During the ceremony, Thornton presented John Mathews, assistant director, campus
projects, facilities & planning at UMass Amherst, with IDEA’s 2009 Sustainable Campus
Leadership Award, which reads “In recognition of exemplary public leadership in advancing energy efficiency and global environmental stewardship through investment in an
innovative district energy system.”
A reception and walking tours of the plant followed the dedication ceremony.
IDEA’s Rob Thornton joined university and state offi- John Mathews, UMass Amherst, gave Rob Thornton a
cials for the ribbon-cutting at the new Central personal tour of the new CHP plant.
Heating Plant at the University of Massachusetts
Amherst April 23. He is shown here at left before the
ceremony with, left to right, Robert C. Holub, UMass "Green With Envy" video at
chancellor; Jack Wilson, UMass president; and Philip
Guidice, commissioner of the Massachusetts
Department of Energy.