UMD Energy Research Workshop 2016
Electricity and energy use account for 90% of UMD’s greenhouse gas emissions making energy both an environmental and economic concern. Reducing energy use is a top priority in making our campus more sustainable.
UMD buildings are heated by a central natural gas-fired heating plant with three main boilers. Although natural gas is relatively clean-burning, it is also a non-renewable fossil fuel that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
The electricity we purchase comes from Minnesota Power. MN Power is committed to reducing emissions and integrating renewables into their fuel mix, but currently their generation is still dominated by fossil fuels.
UMD's Energy Action Plan outlines steps to reduce energy use and the campus carbon footprint.
Energy efficiency and conservation
Efforts to reduce our energy usage on campus include reducing energy consumption through building controls and renovation, adopting a Campus Temperature Standard, upgrading our district energy systems, and building energy efficient new construction.
UMD earns Energy Efficiency Project rebates from our conservation partners at Minnesota Power for each qualified energy-saving project. These projects provide long-term financial savings to the University and energy rebates pay back into the Green Revolving Fund, building equity and helping fund future projects.
UMD has invested in several renewable energy installations driven by students, faculty, and staff. Campus currently has 101kw of on-site solar production with capacity and a goal to increase that to 750kw. In addition, UMD Auxiliaries (Housing, Dining, and Parking & Transportation) invested in 100kw of solar in MN Power's first large scale Community Solar Garden located in Wrenshall, MN. Campus solar arrays can be found on:
- Heikkila Chemistry and Advanced Materials Sciences
- Oakland Apartments Aspen Building
- Malosky Stadium
- Bagley classroom
Real-time solar production data, teaching resources, and additional information about the current installations can be found at d.umn.edu/solar.
There is also an 8kw wind turbine at the UMD Land Lab site.