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04/09/2012 04:11 PM     print story email story  

Oregon Institute of Technology Runs 100% on Renewable Energy

SustainableBusiness.com News

Oregon Institute of Technology already has geothermal installed and by adding a field of made-in-Oregon solar panels, the school will run 100% on renewable energy produced on site. 

Their Klamath Falls campus is currently the only university in the world that is completely heated by geothermal water, and it has the first university-based geothermal combined heat and power plant in the world. 

Oregon's Solar by Degrees program is responsible for the conversion, which is also adding solar at Oregan State and Eastern Oregon University. 4.9 MW of solar are on 27 acres.

Portland State University, the University of Oregon, Western Oregon University and Southern Oregon University plan to follow. 

All the solar panels are Oregon-made by SolarWorld, which has its US headquarters in Hillsboro, and the inverters are made by PV Powered, base in Bend. Oregon Electric of Portland will be the installation contractor. 

Renewable Energy Development, based in Utah, is getting $13.5 million in state energy tax credits, plus federal credits, to build the systems, which cost about $27 million. 

"Higher education has a distinctive role to play in helping the state transition to more sustainable energy sources, while using this as a vehicle for advancing energy research, engaging and training students in new technologies, and overall being a change agent and model for sustainable practices," says Bob Simonton, assistant vice chancellor for Oregon University System capital programs. "All of our campuses have been involved in reducing our carbon footprint for many years, including our commitment to green building, purchase of clean energy credits, major campus-wide recycling, and support for mass transit usage for our students and community."

Recently, Ball State University in Indiana announced it's converting from coal to geothermal - the the largest closed geothermal heat pump system in the US. 


 



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