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Stanford University: a national leader in energy efficiency and carbon reduction


Gery was ending his last post proposing to share our discoveries and exploring the existing energy and food production alternatives.
So, as a neighbour of Stanford University, I heard that the University had just completed a transformational campus-wide energy system.  
Guess what? 
They used to have a 100% fossil-fuel-based combined heat and power plant (co-generation) and today University has replaced it with grid-sourced electricity and a first-of-its-kind heat recovery system.

The results are amazing :
  • Greenhouse gas emissions slashed by 68%
  • Fossil fuel use reduced by 65%
  • Water use on campus reduced by 15% 
This comprehensive Stanford Energy System Innovation (SESI) eliminates 150.000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually (the equivalent of removing 32.000 cars from the road every year.)  SESI combines an offsite, dedicated solar farm
producing 68 megawatts of clean renewable electricity via 150.000 high-efficiency photovoltaic panels; conversion of the heat supply of all buildings from steam to hot water; and an innovative heat recovery loop that captures nearly 2/3 of waste heat generated by the campus cooling system to produce hot water for the heating system. At its heart is a new Central Energy Facility that embodies the latest technological advances in heat recovery.  Heated and chilled water is stored in 3 massive water tanks totaling 6 million gallons (800.000 cubic meter). A patented technology developed by Stanford continuously monitors the plant's equipment, predicts campus energy loads, grid prices and weather, steering the system to optimal efficiency. The automated software also reviews its own performance.


I was also completely impressed by the design of the plant. It has been made to sensitively integrate into the surrounding campus, the overall architectural expression is one of lightness, transparency, and sustainability to express the facility's purpose.

Should you come around the corner, do not hesitate and go visit it. It's superb.  
PS: Expected energy savings to Stanford over 35 years is $425 million.

Google & Helmet provided by Stanford University ;-)

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