Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 68.32
Liaison Michelle Perez
Submission Date May 3, 2013
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.2

University of California, San Diego
OP-T2-2: Local Offsets Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.00 / 0.25 Valerie Fanning
Compliance Officer
Environmental Health & Safety
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Does the institution have a local offsets program through which the institution seeks to offset its greenhouse gas emissions by implementing projects that reduce GHG emissions in the local community?:

A brief description of the program:

As leaders in the community, UC San Diego has several student groups that work with greening our local community. These groups include Net Impact, Green Campus, the Student Sustainability Collective, and several others.

As a global sustainability leader, UC San Diego is committed to reducing its operational resource footprint. Through Dr. Charles David Keeling’s cutting edge work, UC San Diego is a pioneer in climate change research. Continuing UC San Diego’s legacy, the campus has made a strong commitment to reducing its operational impact on the region by implementing a robust GHG emission reduction program. Starting with leadership at the top, the campus’s ‘Climate Solutions Working Group,’ comprised of senior leadership, researchers, operational staff, and administrators, implements a broad range of sustainability initiatives, including management of the University’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan. Political and business leaders routinely attend the meetings of this group to discuss strategies for leveraging UC San Diego’s environmental leadership. Additionally, UC San Diego’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability (ACS) provides perspective to campus administration regarding academic programs, faculty planning, campus operations, and areas for improvement regarding campus sustainability and climate change programs. Specific initiatives include:

• Cogeneration: The campus operates a 30-megawatt natural-gas-fired combined heat and power system that provides 85% of the campus’s annual electricity needs. The plant has received an Environmental Protection Agency Energy Star CHP Award for its high efficiency and low emissions. The plant’s 70% operating efficiency helps the campus save reduce its environmental impact.
• Photovoltaic (PV): The 1.5-megawatt PV system on campus includes a combination of conventional flat panels, sun-tracking/concentrating PV, and a PV energy storage demonstration project. The campus has just completed an 834 off-campus PV installation that includes a combination of rooftop, ground mount, and carport PV arrays. In 2012 the campus will begin installation of an additional 764 kW of onsite PV.
• Fuel Cell: UC San Diego’s renewable energy 2.8-megawatt fuel cell brought on line in 2011 is the largest on any college campus, providing about 10% of UC San Diego’s total energy needs. Using methane gas currently flared at the local wastewater treatment facility, the plant provides enough energy to power 2,800 homes.
• Building retrofits: The campus is in the midst of a $73 million program to increase the energy efficiency of 25 of its older buildings, with a goal of lowering their combined energy consumption by at least $6 million a year. An earlier $60 million program is saving the university $12 million a year in energy costs.
• LEED building standards: All new construction projects must achieve LEED Silver certification or better, which ensures that structures maximize energy savings, water efficiency, CO2 emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, stewardship of resources, and sensitivity to their impacts. Major renovation projects must also pursue LEED certification and by UC policy the campus is pursuing LEED certification for many of its existing buildings.
• Green Grid: The San Diego Supercomputer Center, the largest data center on the UC San Diego campus, joined The Green Grid, a global consortium of companies dedicated to advancing energy efficiency in data centers and computing systems.
• Central Utilities Plant: The plant’s control room has become the hub of an evolving campus microgrid, managing the cogeneration plant, steam and chilled-water system, and photovoltaic and fuel-cell generation. The energy management system helps the campus efficiently manage its energy use, thereby helping to reduce energy consumption and emissions.
• Energy Innovation Park: UC San Diego has developed an “Energy Innovation Park” on the east campus to showcase several of UC San Diego’s innovative energy systems, including the 2.8-megawatt fuel cell, a high-efficiency, sun-tracking photovoltaic array, Compressed Natural Gas fueling station and a chiller plant to provide cold water to the nearby facilities.
• Energy Dashboard: Cutting-edge technology developed at UC San Diego is helping to improve the efficiency of the campus’s energy management system while also lowering greenhouse gas emissions. The innovative system monitors and helps control energy use down to the plug/office level, while providing real-time energy use data for individual users.
• Student initiatives: Undergraduates have deployed a network of weather-monitoring stations to help the university use ocean breezes to cool buildings, identify the sunniest rooftops to expand its solar-electric system, and use water more efficiently in irrigation. Students are also directly involved in promoting energy efficiency through the campus’ Green Office Certification program and PowerSave Green Campus (funded by the local utilities). Through these programs students get hands-one experience in performing energy audits, while providing energy use data to the campus that often leads to the implementation of energy efficiency projects that provide measurable savings.

The website URL where information about the program is available:

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.