Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 81.82
Liaison Ryan Ihrke
Submission Date Feb. 23, 2018
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Green Mountain College
OP-6: Clean and Renewable Energy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.02 / 4.00 Ryan Ihrke
Director of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total energy consumption (all sources, excluding transportation fuels), performance year :
45353.43 MMBtu

Total clean and renewable electricity generated on site during the performance year and for which the institution retains or has retired the associated environmental attributes:
33.15 MMBtu

A brief description of on-site renewable electricity generating devices :

The College retains the renewable attributes of two solar projects on campus: a 5.8
kW solar charging station and a 3.6 kW roof-top array on the Olwen Solar Garage. Production from both of these smaller facilities is counted in option one above.

In 2013, a 156 kW solar array was installed on the south side of campus to help build the solar capacity of the region and to serve as an educational facility for students entering the renewable energy field. The College does not yet retain the RECs for this project, so it is not counted under option one above.

The College also owns a 150 kW steam turbine that is connected to the central biomass plant. The turbine can produce electricity using high pressure steam created by the boiler. On cold days when demand for steam to heat buildings is high, high-pressure steam can run through the turbine to create electricity with a generator. The generator was taken off line in FY 2014 to enable the plant to run at a much lower setting and still meet all of the heat demand on central campus. The generator is most efficiently run when the plant is operating on a higher setting. The sustainability office estimates that approximately 28% can be saved in the purchase of wood chips by operating the plant at a low setting, while still meeting all of the heat demand on central campus.

Non-electric renewable energy generated on-site, performance year:
33542.85 MMBtu

A brief description of on-site renewable non-electric energy devices:

Steam production for heat and hot water on central campus is produced by a combined heat and power (CHP) biomass plant, powered by locally-sourced woodchips, two thirds of which are harvested within 50 miles of the College. The chips are baked to release pyrolysis gas, which is burned to create steam. During winter the plant produces between 93% and 95% of the heat and hot water consumed college-wide.

Total clean and renewable electricity generated by off-site projects that the institution catalyzed and for which the institution retains or has retired the associated environmental attributes, performance year:
668.34 MMBtu

A brief description of off-site, institution-catalyzed, renewable electricity generating devices:

In 2014, the College finalized a partnership with an investor and solar installer to build a 150 kW system on their land in Benson, VT in order to provide the College with clean, solar electricity. GMC agreed to purchase all of the electricity produced and retain the renewable energy credits.

Total third-party certified RECs, GOs and/or similar renewable energy products (including renewable electricity purchased through a utility-provided certified green power option) purchased during the performance year:
53.62 MMBtu

A brief description of the RECs, GOs and/or similar renewable energy products, including contract timeframes:

Green Mountain College participates in Green Mountain Power's Cow Power Program, paying a four cent premium for 50% of electricity consumed on its seven accounts located on the edge of the main campus or off campus, including Griswold Library, Feick Art Center, Richardson Alumni House, the President's House, the Two Editor's Inn, the soccer field, and the barn at the farm.

Cow Power uses the premium to support methane digesters on dairy farms in Vermont for the production of electricity using cow manure. Cow Power Renewable Energy Certificates are certified by the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL) GIS system, and ALL Cow Power purchased by GMP customers are certified and retired.

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Electricity use, by source (percentage of total, 0-100):
Percentage of total electricity use (0-100)
Biomass 2.71
Coal 2.23
Geothermal 0
Hydro 6.63
Natural gas 43.91
Nuclear 27.69
Solar photovoltaic 9.94
Wind 2.54
Other (please specify and explain below) 4.36

A brief description of other sources of electricity not specified above:

Other includes Green Mountain College's participation in Green Mountain Power's Cow Power program. This renewable energy source comprises 0.71% of our electricity mix. To produce Cow Power, farmers feed cow manure into an on-site anaerobic digester. Naturally occurring microbes in the digester convert the waste into several useful byproducts, one of which is methane gas. The methane fuels an engine which drives an electric generator.

Additional sources of electricity totaling 3.65% from the New England Grid, including the following: oil, refuse, landfill gas, and methane. For details on exactly what these sources entail visit:

Energy used for heating buildings, by source::
Percentage of total energy used to heat buildings (0-100)
Biomass 84.28
Coal 0
Electricity 0
Fuel oil 15.72
Geothermal 0
Natural gas 0
Other (please specify and explain below) 0

A brief description of other sources of building heating not specified above:

Percentage of total energy consumption from clean and renewable sources:

Performance year is FY 2017(July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017). Please note that in FY 2017, Green Mountain College was participating in the Cow Power program in seven accounts as described above in the section on RECs.

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.