A Green Legacy
It comes as no surprise that a college campus has a lot of energy. But Weber State literally uses sustainable energy sources above and below ground to power the institution and save money.
The Utah Association of Energy Users recently presented WSU with its Outstanding Leadership in Energy Efficiency and Conservation award, noting a number of innovative projects including one now hidden below the parking lot on the north side of Stewart Stadium.
Over the summer, crews bored more than 200 wells, 275 feet deep, to tap into the earth’s consistent temperature. Since the 1960s, Weber State has warmed and cooled its buildings with super-heated steam or chilled water circulating through 1.5 miles of pipe in tunnels connected to every building.
WSU will continue to use the pipes, but now part of the water’s path will travel through the wells, where temperature is restored to an even 57 degrees. This will dramatically reduce energy consumption.
Taking advantage of the power of the sun, a new 2-megawatt solar installation will soon begin generating nearly 100 percent of the electricity needed at WSU Davis.
The sun also will power the university’s fleet of utility vehicles. Maintenance crews drive electric golf carts that, this year, will be mounted with solar panels on the roofs to generate electricity.
Campus neighbors are following the university’s example.
In collaboration with the Susie Hulet Community Solar Program, the university educated 600+ community members about the benefits of solar energy. Households in Davis, Morgan and Weber counties installed more than 2,500 solar panels, resulting in nearly 1 million kilowatt- hours of energy generation each year.
Energetic support of sustainability is turning every corner of Weber State green. The English department just
received the first Green Team award. In a newly created competition, participating departments earn points for energy and waste reduction.
“Living a green lifestyle is a central characteristic of the WSU community,” said Jacob Cain, WSU’s operations director. “Our long-term strategy is to get completely off fossil fuels, get onto electric and then produce electricity renewably. That’s our carbon-neutral strategy in a nutshell. We took our pledge to be carbon neutral by 2050 seriously. We know how we’re going to do it and will probably reach our goal 10 years ahead of schedule.”
WSU's reduction in carbon emissions
Reduction in electricity consumption
Reduction in natural gas consumption
*As of fiscal year 2015 when compared to a 2007 baseline