Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.74
Liaison Kristyn Achilich
Submission Date May 11, 2021

STARS v2.2

Saint Michael's College
IN-48: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.50 / 0.50 Karen Talentino
Professor of Biology
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
A Commitment to Renewable Energy Sourcing and Conservation

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:

In 2015 , Saint Michael's College joined forces with Encore Renewable Energy to install a solar array on college-owned land. The solar array would not have been possible if it weren't for the joint partnership of the college and Encore, and is a significant example of two entities working towards a common goal and helping one another out. Encore and the College worked to structure a creative financing agreement to make this project a reality. Since going online, the solar array has produced over 200,000 kWh annually. This equates to reducing campus emissions by 201 metric tons of carbon dioxide furthering our efforts to reduce contribution towards climate change.
Because of this success, in 2018 the College worked with Encore again (again, with creative collaboration) on their solar installation in Middlebury, VT. This is a larger facility with many other organizations benefitting, and produces over 800,000 kWh per year, at a savings of over $180,000 to the College each year.
These types of collaborations are essential for small colleges who are not in a position to fund such a facility completely on their own.
As further evidence of our commitment to renewable energy sourcing, the College has invested in two distinct geothermal installations. The first of these installations, in 2013, was completed in connection with the construction of our new Dion Family Student Center and an associated residence hall. The second installation was completed in 2016, and supplies energy to another new residence hall. In both cases, the geothermal installations provide energy for heat and hot water for all of the associated buildings. In both cases, there are oil burners as back-ups, but they have never been used.
In addition to our investments in renewable energy sourcing, since 2001, the college has worked closely with Efficiency Vermont (EV) to identify opportunities to reduce energy demands via more efficiency lighting and technology. To date, thanks to our partnership with Efficiency Vermont, the college has saved over 3.1 million kWh annually. Through EV we have carried out a comprehensive campus energy audit and created a Continuous Energy Improvement (CEI) Plan: 1) developed a systematic replacement lighting program to use LED's across campus (now more than half); 2) focused on energy-conscious design and construction of Dion Student Center and residence halls Aubin and Cronogue; 3) improved the management system for building energy use; and 4) participated in the CEI internship program in 2019-20 which led to a more focused energy audit and future plan.

Pomerleau Alumni Center is a LEED certified building; Dion Family Student Center, Quad Commons Residence Hall and Cronogue Hall exceed LEED efficiency and are heated and cooled through geothermal energy.

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:

Although we received Innovation Credits for the 2015 installation, the newer and larger installation is reflective of our ongoing commitment to pursuing institutional use of renewable energy, and to collaborating with community partners to make this happen. Utilized the EPA's greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator to determine associated benefits of solar generation.
Encore Renewable Energy:
General Energy Initiatives: https://www.smcvt.edu/academics/center-for-the-environment/sustainability/current-projects/
Geothermal Installations:
2013: https://vtdigger.org/2014/02/19/new-st-michaels-college-building-among-energy-efficient-vermont/

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