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Could You Run Your City on Oats?

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The microgrid saves hundreds of thousands of dollars each month, according to the university, and protects laboratory and hospital space from the threat of power outages. Although it's expensive to install an energy management system this comprehensive, utility companies nationwide are starting to invest in household 'smart' meters they hope will make energy delivery more responsive to demand. Group Related: – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Could You Run Your City on Oats?


1
Crown Capital Eco Management
Could You Run Your City on Oats?
2
Could You Run Your City on Oats?
  • The campuses of many state universities--with
    their miles of research laboratories and sports
    facilities to power, and tens of thousands of
    students to house--can sometimes resemble a small
    city. They can require as much energy to run as a
    small city, as well. Over the past decade,
    colleges and universities across the country have
    become concerned about their environmental
    footprint, and today they are leading the way in
    developing innovative approaches to rethinking
    energy infrastructure. Kent State University is
    installing nearly 45,000 square feet of solar
    panels on its athletic complex, while Princeton's
    power plant can now switch to run on biodiesel.

3
  • In many cases, students have been the ones
    instigating these campus changes, pushing their
    administrators to make commitments to reduce
    fossil fuel emissions or to set a goal of
    becoming carbon neutral. For their part, schools
    are interested in finding energy savings and
    reaching greater efficiency. As climate change
    continues to alter energy needs and alternative
    fuel sources become more widely-accepted, towns
    and institutions may find themselves drawing
    lessons from the way college campuses are meeting
    their energy goals.

4
  • The University of Iowa's Biomass Fuel Project
  •  
  • One afternoon about 10 years ago, the Quaker Oats
    processing facility in Cedar Rapids contacted
    administrators at the University of Iowa. The
    oatmeal, granola, and cereal manufacturer
    generates thousands of tons of oat hulls each
    year, and it wanted to know if the university was
    interested in purchasing the waste
    productsignificantly cheaper than coalto use as
    a fuel in its campus power plant.

5
  • After spending 1 million on two years of testing
    and other preliminary work, U of I started
    processing oat hulls in 2003, combining them with
    coal and burning the mix as fuel. The deal with
    Quaker Oats has saved the school up to a half
    million dollars each year, depending on the
    market price of coal. The institution plans to
    quadruple the amount of biomass it uses as a fuel
    by 2020, with a goal of making it 40 percent of
    the fuel mix.

6
  • "One of the big themes is, let's get our energy
    local," says Ferman Milster, principal engineer
    for renewables at the university's Office of
    Sustainability. He estimates that the
    university's goal of upping their local biomass
    purchases could return about 6 million annually
    to the local economy.

7
  • This change to U of I's energy infrastructure was
    made easier by the school's district energy
    system--a centralized boiler that delivers
    heating and cooling services to the campus. Now
    common on college campuses, these utilities are
    still found in some municipalities-- often dating
    to the early 20th century, when towns were built
    around a dense urban core. It's far less common
    today to see towns installing the same
    infrastructure. Recently, however, the small town
    of West Union, Iowa decided to give it a try,
    investing in a district energy system that will
    tap geothermal energy to lower heating and
    cooling costs for downtown businesses. The 2.5
    million project is a collaborative effort, funded
    by grants from the EPA, state government, and the
    U.S. Energy Department.

8
The University of New Hampshire's Eco-Line
  • Trash powers the University of New Hampshire's
    heating, cooling, and electricity-generation
    system. Rather than relying on natural gas, the
    school sources over 60 percent of its fuel from a
    landfill about 13 miles away. But while
    harnessing the methane-based gas emitted as trash
    biodegrades has helped UNH meet its
    sustainability goals, the move hasn't delivered a
    big financial payoff for the university.

9
  • "The market price for natural gas has dropped
    substantially," says Paul Chamberlin, associate
    vice president for facilities, so the savings
    have been less than UNH expected when the line
    was completed in 2009. The university utility
    still aims to recoup the cost of the 49 million
    investment within 10 years, by selling renewable
    energy certificates through an EPA program and by
    charging campus buildings for their energy use.

10
  • Thanks to clean air regulations, most landfills
    are already capturing landfill gas. But according
    to Chamberlin, that's not necessarily a useful
    fuel source for many municipalities. The
    University of New Hampshire, like many education
    institutions and some big business and
    manufacturing facilities, has a cogeneration
    plant a facility that both heats water for
    heating and cooling buildings and also captures
    waste heat to generate electricity. It's a hugely
    efficient process that makes renewables an
    attractive investment. But in more sprawling
    suburban communities, installing such a system
    doesn't make much sense.

11
The University of California, San Diego's Campus
Microgrid
  • During a region-wide blackout in 2011, the lights
    at the University of California, San Diego,
    stayed on. Thanks to its campus microgrid, UCSD
    has achieved near self-sufficiency in energy
    generation and distribution, lowered energy
    costs, made energy provision more reliable, and
    proven that computerized management can easily
    integrate new sources of energylike solar
    panelsinto a utility grid.

12
  • "It's almost like plug and play. You decide what
    you want to feed in in terms of alternative
    energy sources, and as long as you put in this
    advanced micro-grid that can manage energy and
    modulate when you use it, it becomes a very
    effective tool," says Gary Matthews, vice
    chancellor for resource management and planning.

13
  • The UC-San Diego microgrid has evolved over time.
    When the campus was under construction in the
    1960s, university leaders decided to manage
    buildings as a system, rather than connecting
    them individually to the local power grid. About
    12 years ago, the university added a cogeneration
    plant. Today, some 200 energy meters monitor
    energy in individual buildings, and a
    computerized management system allows facilities
    staff to fine-tune energy delivery depending on
    use patterns. Researchers and corporations are
    closely watching the electric grid, which has
    become a living demonstration of how to manage a
    diverse energy mix that includes solar panels,
    fuels cells and electric car charging stations.

14
  • The microgrid saves hundreds of thousands of
    dollars each month, according to the university,
    and protects laboratory and hospital space from
    the threat of power outages. Although it's
    expensive to install an energy management system
    this comprehensive, utility companies nationwide
    are starting to invest in household 'smart'
    meters they hope will make energy delivery more
    responsive to demand.
  • Group Related
  • http//www.linkedin.com/groups/Crown-Eco-Managemen
    t-4661507
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