Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Kate Witte
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Diana Duffy
Energy Coordinator
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
No. Six No More: Renewable Heat Plant by 2018

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Keene State College’s (KSC) central steam plant generates heat and hot water for over 70% of the its 1.68 million square-foot campus. Prior to 2016, KSC relied on No. 6 heating oil to generate that steam, and did so for years. As a result, Keene State lagged its peers for on-site emissions, including schools using natural gas. A typical year at KSC used at least 850,000 gallons of No. 6 oil to run this plant, with some years over 900,000 gallons. The impacts on the local airshed put KSC on the map for its impacts to outdoor air quality, and this practice cost the college not only dollars, but the attention of state and federal air quality regulators.
During the 2015-16 year, the opportunity to convert the plant to natural gas came to Keene. While gas offered a cleaner reliable fuel source compared to heavy oil trucked from Boston, KSC leadership was reluctant to adopt a gas-fired steam plant in the era of widespread community opposition to additional gas pipelines in this region.
Meanwhile, a new fuel for large-scale boiler operations was gaining traction in Massachusetts refined by LifeCycle Renewables. This fuel, processed within 5 miles of Boston's fuel port for heavy oil, is made from used cooking oil by food processing and large-scale kitchens. Far cleaner than No. 6, this fuel could be trucked to campus from the same distance as KSC's heavy oil, was a certified fuel that could generate New Hampshire thermal renewable energy credits, and was considered carbon neutral by Second Nature. LR-100 seemed promising, but could it work here?
The answer to that question is what the campus energy coordinator and the director of sustainability were determined to find out. During 2016, both advocated key stakeholders to consider this cleaner option. Not only did they have to gain the confidence of the steam plant team, seasoned in working with No. 6 oil for decades, but convince KSC leadership that this fuel was worth a try. The effort took months, and in the spring of that year, leadership agreed to use LR100 in the steam plant boilers during June of 2016. KSC piloted LR100 that summer in just one of the three steam plant boilers to see how it worked.
And it did.
Just two years later, all three boilers were running on LR-100 fuel, beating the college President's goal to do so by the end of 2018. As a result, KSC become New Hampshire's largest generator of thermal renewable energy credits, and its emissions from the steam plant stack decreased significantly, saving KSC money while cleaning up the region's airshed. Permit and emissions data from the State of New Hampshire shows this.
2014: $15,462.44 total emissions: 60.438 tons
2015: $18,641.83 total emissions: 64.033 tons
2016: $21,516.23 total emissions: 56.944 tons
2017: $10,856.56 total emissions: 33.972 tons
2018: $6,218.72 total emissions: 20.158 tons
2019: $2,083.70 total emissions: 7.281 tons

KSC's latest SIMAP greenhouse gas inventory data also show a dramatic reduction in Scope 1 emissions as a result of using LR100 in its plant. KSC remains confident it is the only heat plant in "higher ed" that runs on recycled oil which is considered biogenic, and does not come from trees. That the oil Keene State College used to prepare on-campus meals, from fish to fries, is then used to make LR-100 is a closed loop bonus for the college.

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

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

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

This clip highlights some of the steps taken to GET to the conversion to recycled veg oil at the steam plant--

This clip highlights some of the steps taken to GET to the conversion to recycled veg oil at the steam plant--

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