Colorado College reaches - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Solar  -  January 24, 2020

Colorado College acheives carbon neutrality goal

Colorado College celebrated Jan. 17 the completion of their 2020 goal to achieve carbon neutrality, which has resulted in savings of $6.6 million.

The achievement was reached by eliminating emissions from certain campus operations and using renewable energy sources. The initiative first began through a petition from 70% of the school’s 2,000 student population to prioritize the school’s transition to carbon neutrality.

Since 2013, the school has spent $250,000 annually on sustainability projects.

The campus receives 6% of their electricity from on-campus solar panels, equaling 1 MW, with a geothermal system included in the system on the Tutt Library. At the beginning of the month, the college made moves toward 100% solar power through the new Colorado Springs Utilities’ Green Power program, which enables commercial and residential electric users to buy solar directly from the municipal utilities company to power homes or businesses. Two solar arrays will be providing the solar power: one of that came online in November and one that will be operational in March.

The Gazette reported that this makes Colorado College the first in the city, state and Rocky Mountain region to achieve carbon neutrality and the eighth educational institution in the nation to do so. Ian Johnson, sustainability director for the school’s Office of Sustainability, told the publication that on-campus emissions were reduced by 75% over the past decade, the largest carbon footprint decrease among the seven other carbon-neutral colleges.

Other emissions have been offset through RECs equal to emissions from campus vehicles, air and business travel, liquid and solid waste and HVAC systems.

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