Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 68.45
Liaison Justin Mog
Submission Date March 4, 2022

STARS v2.2

University of Louisville
OP-6: Clean and Renewable Energy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 0.15 / 4.00 Glen Todd
Asst Dir HSC Phys Plant Svcs
Physical Plant
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total energy consumption, performance year:
847,108.20 MMBtu

Clean and renewable electricity (report kilowatt-hours):
kWh MMBtu
Imported electricity from certified/verified clean and renewable sources (i.e., bundled green power purchases) 0 Kilowatt-hours 0 MMBtu
Electricity from on-site, clean and renewable sources (rights retained/retired) 199,724 Kilowatt-hours 681.46 MMBtu

A brief description of the certified/verified sources of clean and renewable electricity:

At the moment, UofL, like most utility customers in Kentucky, still relies largely on fossil fuel-generated power purchased from the grid. We do not currently generate a significant percentage of our electricity on campus, but we are moving in that direction with a commitment to renewable energy that has already manifest itself in a number of pilot projects. In 2020, these added up to a total of 3.67% of UofL's energy needs served by renewables (excluding vehicle fuels) ... As we transition toward climate neutrality by 2050, UofL has made a bold commitment to renewable energy. Our first benchmark goal was to source at least 20% of our power from renewable energy sources by 2020. We have yet to achieve that goal, but are on track to do so by 2024, thanks to a recent long-term contract with Louisville Gas & Electric Company (LG&E) for approximately 10MW of solar power from a new facility to be built in western Kentucky. This contract alone will supply about 15% of our total energy needs. Currently, in solar energy alone, UofL has installed on campus a total (as of February 2021) of 589 photovoltaic panels (143.4 kW) and 35 solar thermal collectors (120.16 square meters). UofL has also been exploring all renewable options including biomass, geothermal, and low-impact hydropower projects. Some of these efforts are tied to educational and research objectives at UofL. More details are available in UofL's Climate Action Plan. More description of on-site renewable technologies is included below and at the link provided.


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

1. The 170,000 sq ft Belknap Academic Building opened in 2018 with a photovoltaic solar system on the penthouse roof which supplies 5.1% of the total energy needs of the building. With 321 panels, it is an 89 kW system with an estimated annual production of 115,709 kWh.
2. The roof of UofL's LEED Gold certified Center for Predictive Medicine on the Shelby campus houses a 50 kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, one of the largest in Kentucky, with 254 panels.
3. Sackett Hall Solar Array (PV+HotWater): The computer controlled dual-axis tracking solar array on Sackett Hall at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering produces both electricity and hot water for the building. It is the only such tracking array in Kentucky, and is intended for research, development and education, while supplying a portion of the building's electricity and hot water. Because it is able to track the sun precisely throughout the day and across the seasons, it is 30% more efficient than fixed solar panels. The two solar thermal collectors in the center of the array provide nearly 100% of the building's hot water in the summer, and ten photovoltaic panels feed enough electricity into the grid to power the building's computer laboratory.


Clean and renewable thermal energy (report MMBtu):
MMBtu
Clean and renewable stationary fuels used on-site to generate thermal energy 31,835 MMBtu
Imported steam, hot water, and/or chilled water from certified/verified clean and renewable sources 0 MMBtu

A brief description of the clean and renewable stationary fuels:

1. In spring 2014, UofL installed a 16-panel, 165 MMBtu solar pool heating system on the roof of the Ralph Wright Natatorium to tackle the high energy demands of regulating the temperature of the largest body of water on campus - our Olympic-size pool!
2. In October 2013, UofL opened a LEED Gold Student Recreation Center that features not only a solar 134MMBtu hot water system, but 128,000 square feet of space heated and cooled by the University's first geothermal system. The geothermal heat pipe is a closed-loop vertical well system with a total of 180 wells 400 feet deep. This system provides ample reserve capacity and is expected to generate about 22% annual energy cost savings compared to a conventional system. It is also considerably simpler and cheaper to maintain.
3. Sackett Hall Solar Array (PV+HotWater): The computer controlled dual-axis tracking solar array on Sackett Hall at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering produces both electricity and hot water for the building. It is the only such tracking array in Kentucky, and is intended for research, development and education, while supplying a portion of the building's electricity and hot water. Because it is able to track the sun precisely throughout the day and across the seasons, it is 30% more efficient than fixed solar panels. The two solar thermal collectors in the center of the array provide nearly 100% of the building's hot water in the summer, and ten photovoltaic panels feed enough electricity into the grid to power the building's computer laboratory.
4. We are investigating renewable energy options to passively heat & cool UofL buildings. At Burhans Hall on our Shelby campus, in collaboration with the Department of Energy and the Kentucky Renewable Energy Consortium, UofL's Renewable Energy Applications Laboratory (REAL) installed an experimental solar heat pipe wall for indoor climate control that may prove to be twice as efficient as other solar systems in places such as Louisville with moderate sun and cold winters. In 2011, the system was moved to a new solar test room constructed at the Speed School of Engineering behind Ernst Hall for further experimentation and monitoring. This is the only such device of its kind in the world and its active solar design is more efficient than most passive systems.


A brief description of the certified/verified sources of clean and renewable thermal energy:

UofL's LEED Gold Student Recreation Center opened in October 2013, featuring not only a 134 MMBtu solar hot water system, but 128,000 square feet of space heated and cooled by the University's first geothermal system. The geothermal heat pipe is a closed-loop vertical well system with a total of 180 wells 400 feet deep. This 4960 MMBtu system provides ample reserve capacity and is expected to generate about 22% annual energy cost savings compared to a conventional system. It is also considerably simpler and cheaper to maintain. Occupational use of the new facility has tripled when compared to the previous Recreational Center, yet energy costs were reduced to provide UofL with almost $100,000 of savings per year. A case study of the project can be found at the link provided.


Unbundled renewable energy products (report kWh):
kWh MMBtu
Purchased RECs, GOs, I-RECs or equivalent unbundled renewable energy products certified by a third party 0 Kilowatt-hours 0 MMBtu

A brief description of the unbundled renewable energy products:

n/a


Total clean and renewable energy generated or purchased:
32,516.46 MMBtu

Percentage of total energy consumption from clean and renewable sources:
3.84

Website URL where information about the institution’s support for clean and renewable energy is available:
Electricity use, by source (percentage of total, 0-100):
Percentage of total electricity use (0-100)
Biomass 0.73
Coal 27.19
Geothermal 0
Hydro 12.62
Natural gas 28.11
Nuclear 30.95
Solar photovoltaic 0.26
Wind 0.02
Other (please specify and explain below) 0.11

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

Other source: Oil and "Other Fossil"


Energy used for heating buildings, by source::
Percentage of total energy used to heat buildings (0-100)
Biomass 0
Coal 30.93
Electricity 0
Fuel oil 0.10
Geothermal 1.26
Natural gas 67.71
Other (please specify and explain below) ---

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

Additional documentation to support the submission:

Estimates of electricity use by source are based on the fact that the University of Louisville is located within the SERC Tennessee Valley (SRTV) U.S. eGRID subregion. The regional grid mix for the most recent year available (2020) is represented in our response and is available at https://www.epa.gov/egrid/data-explorer

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 or simply email your inquiry to stars@aashe.org.