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UAlbany Takes Steps Toward Carbon Neutrality

March 9, 2010

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Image of solar panels

More than $287,000 in federal stimulus money will fund the installation of a 49-kilowatt solar panel system on UAlbany's Social Sciences Building, saving $69,130 a year.

The University at Albany is augmenting its "Green Scene" efforts to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. More than $287,000 in federal stimulus money will fund the installation of a 49-kilowatt solar panel system on the Social Sciences Building, saving $69,130 a year. The project, which will reduce carbon emissions by 996 tons, was competitively selected under the State Energy Program by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The University also purchased Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets as environmentally-conscious measures at University Hall. UAlbany purchased 800,000 kilowatt hours of wind energy with the RECs, which will help support wind farms in New York State. The certified carbon offsets will reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated from the building.

The estimated annual environmental benefit from the REC purchase is equivalent to removing 110 passenger vehicles from the road.  The estimated annual environmental benefit from the carbon offsets is equivalent to removing 79.3 passenger vehicles from the road.

The certified RECs and carbon offsets are being supplied by renewable energy developer and marketer Community Energy.

As part of UAlbany's ongoing environmental sustainability efforts, the University has taken several steps to reduce its carbon footprint and set an example as a strong environmental steward in the community. The University recently announced that it reduced energy costs by a total of $319,000 through energy-saving steps during the fall and winter intersession initiatives. Other green measures include implementing trayless dining halls, purchasing locally-grown produce and grass-fed beef, and initiating bike-sharing and other transportation programs.

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