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UMass Amherst Decarbonization Collaboration Wins "Leading By Example" Award from Massachusetts Dept. of Energy Resources

By District Energy posted 12-14-2021 14:21


U Mass Amherst


A collaboration among the University of Massachusetts Amherst, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell and Salem State University to work together to decarbonize each campus has been recognized by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources with a “Leading By Example” (LBE) Award. The award was presented to representatives from each campus at a ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 9.

The four-campus collaboration began during fiscal year 2020-21 when all four campuses decided to undertake a collaborative strategic planning process to decarbonize their campuses. Representatives from each campus held a series of meetings to allow for a free exchange of ideas, challenges and lessons learned so that others might get a better result. The group kept various state agencies abreast of their discussions and how the work may affect formulating new policy. The group is also committed to sharing their information with similar institutions and agencies across the commonwealth.

To qualify for the award, the campuses had to meet various criteria including sustainable practices, environmental benefits, cost savings and education and outreach efforts. The UMass Amherst contributions to the award-winning proposal include:

Adopting geothermal (ground source heating) and battery storage technologies. UMass Amherst now has three buildings using ground source heating, including the UMass Police Station, Crotty Hall and the International Programs Office (IPO) building on Butterfield Terrace. Two of the buildings – the police station and Crotty Hall – were new buildings, and the IPO building was an energy system retrofit. UMass Amherst also has one battery storage system in place at the Central Heating Plant and another that will be solely charged by solar canopy generation in parking lots 21 and 22 coming online soon.