This Spring Paul Smith’s College, under the direction of Sustainability Coordinator and Faculty member Kate Glenn, applied for and was awarded a $56,000 NYSERDA Grant. The REV Campus Challenge Technical Assistance for Roadmaps Grant. NYSERDA provides financial support to REV Campus Challenge members , like Paul Smith’s College, to assist with hiring a third-party energy consultant to evaluate existing campus energy conditions and establish an action plan for addressing campus energy needs. This grant also comes with an additional $4,000 in bonus funding to support student Sustainability Fellowship positions, who will be working on STARS (Sustainability Tracking and Rating System) projects. The college contributed $27,000 to the project in cost share, which was funded with a Sustainability Grant though the Paul Smith’s College Center for Sustainability. The Sustainability grant proposal was written by students in SUS350 Alternative Energy class taught by Kate Glenn this spring semester.

Paul Smith’s College has a long history of supporting and promoting renewable energy on campus and in the surrounding region. The college is in the process of updating it’s Climate Action Plan in accordance with it’s goals for Carbon Neutrality, as part of the American Colleges and Universities Presidents Climate Commitment. Paul Smith’s College will be working with L&S Energy Inc out of Saratoga over the next 8 months to complete a three phased project which will assist College in understanding it’s energy use, identify cost effective energy efficiency improvements, and integrate those improvements into the college’s overall sustainability and growth plans including our updated Climate Action Plan and g2g emissions reduction goals.

The result of this work will include a multi‐year plan for building efficiency and operations, in support of PSC’s Strategic Plan and Climate Action Plan. This plan will establish goals to:

  • Set multi‐year targets
  •  Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  •  Establish systems to benchmark and track energy use
  •  Improve energy efficiency
  •  Ensure energy efficiency gains are maintained over time
  •  Increase use of renewable energy

Phase one of the project is “Preliminary Analysis and Energy Benchmarking” , this includes Utility Analysis, Benchmarking, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Profile. Essentially L&S will be collecting and examining about 2 years of the colleges past energy bills (electricity and heating oil) and completing an updated greenhouse gas emissions report.

Phase two of the project includes completing a “Campus Energy Assessment” which includes an on campus energy audit of the colleges campus buildings. L&S Energy will conduct a walk-though survey of campus infrastructure, identify and analyze low cost/no cost energy efficiency measures, identify and analyze capital measures, as well as review mechanical and electrical designs of campus buildings, conditions and operations of campus systems and maintenance (O&M) practices.

The third phase of the project is to develop an Energy Master Plan for campus and update the colleges Climate Action Plan. Phase three consists of also identifying grants and funding opportunities to support the colleges energy goals, as well as developing a STARS (Sustainable Tracking and Rating System) standard operating procedure for STARS reporting.

Throughout this process, L&S Energy will be reporting out on their findings and working with our Smitty Sustainability Committee as well as students, faculty, and staff. The college is very excited about this process and is looking forward to reviewing and implementing the recommendations from L&S Energy as we updated our Climate Action Plan.