Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 86.01
Liaison Patrick McKee
Submission Date March 6, 2020
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Connecticut
OP-6: Clean and Renewable Energy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.07 / 4.00 Richard Miller
Director
Ofice of Environmental Policy
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total energy consumption (all sources, excluding transportation fuels), performance year :
1,998,297 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:
290 MMBtu

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

In the fall semester of 2016, 42 solar thermal panels on top of the new STEM residence building began producing hot water. They are estimated to provide approximately 35% of the building’s heating requirement.

UConn also has two 3.3 kW solar photovoltaic arrays (one at C2E2/Depot Campus and another on the Werth Tower rooftop) and an 8.28 kW solar PV array, which sits on top of the Reclaimed Water Facility on the Storrs Campus. Although not counted above, UConn has a 400 kW hydrogen clean energy fuel cell near C2E2 on the Depot Campus. This fuel cell generates electricity through an electro-chemical reaction rather than combustion. The fuel cell prevents the release of approximately 831 metric tons of CO2 per year vs. a comparable conventional fossil-fueled generator and, because energy is produced without combustion, emits near zero other harmful air pollutants.

http://news.engr.uconn.edu/exploring-solar-energy-at-uconn.php

http://today.uconn.edu/2012/04/uconn-commissions-fuel-cell-power-plant/

The fuel cell is on University property, but is owned and maintained by an outside company. UConn purchases the power from this company through a power purchasing agreement (PPA).


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

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

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:
0 MMBtu

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

UConn Facilities Operations has recently hired an energy analyst company and the company has a scope of work focused on procuring renewable energy for the University through PPAs, for installations that would be off-campus (virtual net metering) or on-campus. Work is ongoing and has accelerated in both pace and scale for potential projects related to the recommendations from the President's Working Group on Sustainability and the Environment.


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:
33,198 MMBtu

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

From 2013-2016, UConn participated in the ConEdison Solutions GREEN Power Program, in which the University agreed to purchase 18 percentage points more renewable energy than what the CT Renewable Portfolio Standard mandates that year. However, in 2015 a REC certificate was given to UConn that showed all, or 100%, of the purchased electricity came from Texas wind, a renewable source of energy. It is assumed that this is the case for 2016. Additionally, starting in 2017, this has been formalized in an updated contract with a new vendor, Direct Energy, where the imported electricity will comprise of 100% renewables. Electricity is only purchased when UConn cannot supply all of the necessary power from our Co-Generation Central Utility Plant. On average this amounts to about 5-7% per year of our electricity usage at the main campus.


The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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Electricity use, by source (percentage of total, 0-100):
Percentage of total electricity use (0-100)
Biomass 0
Coal 0
Geothermal 0
Hydro 0
Natural gas 94.28
Nuclear 0
Solar photovoltaic 0.01
Wind 2.31
Other (please specify and explain below) 3.40

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

Other means electricity generated by UConn's 400 kW clean energy hydrogen fuel cell and occasionally, distillate oil (#1-4) that is burned in the on-campus cogeneration facility when/if natural gas curtailment is in effect.


Energy used for heating buildings, by source::
Percentage of total energy used to heat buildings (0-100)
Biomass 0
Coal 0
Electricity 0
Fuel oil 95.39
Geothermal 0
Natural gas 95.39
Other (please specify and explain below) 0.39

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

Thermal loads from the 400kW hydrogen fuel cell on the Depot campus and solar thermal on the roof of Werth Residence Hall.


Percentage of total energy consumption from clean and renewable sources:
1.68

A hydrogen fuel cell, even one which extracts hydrogen from natural gas, is a clean source of electricity and thermal energy, yet it is not eligible. It would increase our percentage above considerably. We have a 400kW fuel cell on our campus, reliably generating nearly ten times the electricity generated from our solar arrays. A hydrogen fuel cell generates electricity and heat through an electro-chemical reaction, not combustion. It produces no air emissions, like HAPs, NOx or SO2. AASHE should allow this to be counted as a clean energy source.

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.