Emory Installs 6,530 Photo voltaic Panels Throughout Campus
Last year, Emory installed 6,530 solar modules on eight buildings and parking decks as part of a sustainability initiative in order to convert 10% of the energy sources on campus to renewable energies by 2025. In the first phase, three sets of modules were installed Furnished and connected the Georgia Power Grid on 1599 Clifton Road, Fishburne Parking Deck, and Gambrell Hall.
The project, in collaboration with energy company Cherry Street Energy, will install 15,000 panels in 15 buildings by 2025. Cherry Street will pay for the panels and their installation with tax incentives and will have control over the maintenance of the panels for 20 years.
“I think when students come back they’ll be very excited because it’s pretty transformative,” said Ciannat Howett (87C), director of sustainability initiatives. “Despite the financial crisis, we were able to continue.”
Emory hopes to cut greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 4,300 tons to meet the United Nations intergovernmental panel on climate change aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45%. Howett said Emory is on track to meet that goal by 2030.
“We have so many exciting goals for the sustainability vision. Our big goal is to reduce greenhouse gases, ”Howett said. “We just completed our current greenhouse gas emissions inventory and found that we have 31% less. We believe we can reach 45% by 2030. ”
Unlike other projects that were halted by the pandemic, Cherry Street Energy was able to continue installing the solar panels. Howett called this the “silver lining” of Emory’s reduced campus capacity.
“The lower campus occupancy allowed us to build some parking decks because they weren’t fully utilized,” Howett said. “We didn’t see any delays.”
Howett said Cherry Street Energy also purposely sought workers who lost their jobs during the pandemic through a program called Light upwhich aims to provide vocational training for “displaced people” and create careers to support local residents.
The Office for Sustainability Initiatives aims to complete many projects such as the installation of solar modules by 2025. Some collaborations include solar microgrids in the health sciences research building and better pedestrian and cycle paths with the Path Foundation. Most recently the Environmental Protection Agency excellent The university received a $ 298,502 scholarship to develop an anaerobic fermenter, a process that converts food waste into energy.
Howett also noted that the Bureau of Sustainability Initiatives works with other campus offices, such as the Bureau of Diversity, Justice and Inclusion, to incorporate racial justice initiatives into their work.
“We really applauded our work and aligned it around these goals that bridge social justice and equity issues with traditional environmental impacts,” Howett said.