The Utility Services Department of University Facilities is charged with operating and maintaining the utility infrastructure of our campus. This includes tracking the energy consumption of each building and seeking ways to improve efficiency and minimize energy use. With a growing concern over the University’s carbon footprint, we are also seeking more sustainable sources of energy.
To meet the requirements of SC Legislative Bill H4766, which became effective on June 11th, 2008, a campus-wide Sustainable Energy Policy was approved by the Administrative Council with a goal of reducing energy consumption per gross square foot of building space 20% by 2020, relative to the fiscal year 2000 baseline. Efforts including chiller optimization, encouraging behavioral changes, equipment improvements, operational changes, and new construction with improved efficiency allowed us to meet this goal in 2019.
The university is striving to achieve net neutrality of carbon emissions by 2030, with the ultimate goal being an all-encompassing approach to our ecological footprint. We aim not only to serve as a leader among higher education institutions but also as a living lab for students to learn more about future technologies and sustainable practices.
Construction of a significant solar PV project has begun in the R-6 parking lot, between Highway 76 and Vineyard Road. The 1 Megawatt project will include 17 Tee-Shape canopies at a 12 foot height, each mounted with between 138 and 204 solar panels for a total of 2,982 units. The Trina 400 watt panels have an efficiency of 19.7% and will be installed at a 7 degree angle. Seventeen DC to AC inverters will be utilized to connect the panel output to the campus grid. The solar array is expected to provide an average of 1,600,000 kwhs of electricity each year to help power our campus.
For more information about this project, please see this related article in Clemson News.📰
Many of our campus buildings have earned LEED and Green Globe certifications demonstrating a committment to sustainable building construction.