Following are excerpts from a WGL Energy Services (WGL Energy) white paper, “Campus Sustainability: How Colleges and Universities Can Reduce Environmental Impact through Distributed Impact™.”
University and college campuses across the country are enacting sustainability plans to reduce their impact on the environment. While these plans often address a range of areas such as water usage, transportation, solid waste, purchasing and buildings, a strong focus is placed on energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction. Many university and college campuses are utilizing a comprehensive energy strategy that includes distributed generation along with renewable energy purchases, demand side management and energy efficiency as tools to meet new, more robust sustainability goals.
Distributed generation (DG) is an approach to electricity production that utilizes small-scale technologies to produce power at, or near, the site of consumption. Distributed generation renewable energy technologies, such as solar, not only increase resiliency and energy security but also lower environmental impact, create cost savings and reduce emissions.
WGL Energy can help universities use DG technologies with Distributed Impact, a strategy that takes a holistic approach to energy management. By combining traditional and renewable energy sources, demand management and improved insight on energy use, WGL Energy can help customers design DG systems to better control energy spend, improve security and reliability and achieve sustainability objectives.
Achieving true sustainability requires more than just switching to renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency. The inconsistent nature of many renewable energy technologies combined with the complexities of integrating different energy sources into a working system requires the use of complex energy management systems and controls. However, by taking a holistic view of energy use, it is possible to make real strides towards sustainability while maintaining operational stability and even providing security in the event of a natural or manmade disaster. The unique combination of an engaged population, single ownership of land and multiple buildings, and the efficiency that can come from improved energy management across the campus make universities ideal locations to demonstrate how DG technologies, in conjunction with demand side management, energy efficiency and other energy solutions, can create an integrated, sustainable and efficient energy program for your campus environment.
Download the complete white paper to take a closer look at how three universities are using an integrated energy management strategy to meet their campus sustainability goals.