Energy

Sustainability @ Paul Smith's College

Energy use at Paul Smith’s College

Solar array

    energy banner   The solar array at Paul Smith’s College promotes solar energy development in the Adirondack Park, and is an education tool for our community, while also serving as a symbol of our college communities’ commitment to renewable energy. Our 12.24 kw grid-tied roof mounted solar array consists of 48 (255 watt) solar panels, which generate between 10,000 and  13,000 kWh of electricity annually. The array is located on the roof of the Joan Weill Adirondack Library. Real time energy generation information is displayed on the Paul Smith’s College sustainability website. This project was developed by team of students, faculty, and staff here at Paul Smith’s College, and paid for by a grant from the Sustainability Grant Fund.  To view the full proposal please visit, www.paulsmiths.edu/sustainability/campus-sustainability-fund 

District heating wood pellet boiler!

  Our pellet boiler system was manufactured in Troy, NY. The pellets come from Curran Renewable Energy in Massena and are sourced from local, sustainably harvested, FSC-Certified woodlots! In 2007, Paul Smith’s College was among the first to sign the Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Our current Climate Action Plan lists our carbon neutrality date as 2029. The installation of the pellet boiler is a significant step towards our goal of achieving carbon neutrality. This system provides heat for our three academic buildings: Pickett, Cantwell, and Freer. It will contribute to PSC’s climate commitment goals by displacing 28,000 gallons of heating oil with renewable wood-pellet fuel each year. This pellet boiler is one of the first institutional mini-district heating systems connecting three buildings in upstate New York State! The pellet boiler was provided at minimal cost to the college thanks to grant funding through NYSERDA

LEED Certified Silver buildings on campus

USGS (Green Building Council) LEED  (Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design) Certification is a third party rating system for energy and environmental design.  Starting in 2007, all new buildings here at Paul Smith’s College will have to be LEED certified Silver or better specifications.  Paul Smiths College has two LEED Certified Silver buildings, the Palozzi Center and Overlook Residence Hall. Both projects use geothermal heating and cooling systems with high efficiency heat pumps, low VOC paint, high density spray foam insulation making this buildings really well insulated, bike storage, local landscaping and other features.

Overlook Residence Hall houses 23 apartments with kitchens and a classroom in the basement. The building features a permeable pavement, parking spaces for fuel efficient vehicles, a bike rack, locally sourced wood and passive solar design principles.

Countess Alicia Spaulding-Paolozzi Environmental Science and Education Center (Paolozzi Center) building, houses the Adirondack Watershed Institute. This building maximizes efficiency using geothermal heating and cooling and low wattage light bulbs.The facility has a conference room that seats 24 people and is equipped with a podium computer and HD projector. The ground floor of the Paolozzi Center houses a state-of-the-art laboratory that supports the research and monitoring work of AWI and CAB, as well as other research, student capstone projects, and courses. Click here for more information about the Paolozzi Center. 

Renewable Energy Credits

Paul Smith’s College uses 4,000,000 kWh of electricity annually. In 2007 the college signed the Presidents Climate Commitment and decided to reach carbon neutrality by 2029. Electricity is a large part of that commitment and can be bought from sources that pollute the Earth but to offset doing that Paul Smith’s College purchases renewable energy credits from Renewable Choice since 2014. Renewable energy credits verify that for one megawatt of energy was generated another megawatt was created by a clean power facility and are then added to the grid. By adding more clean energy to the grid, domestic energy security is rising, the economy is growing and there is less pollution. Electrons are indistinguishable so they cannot be tracked once they enter the grid.

Green Roof on the Joan Weill Adirondack Library

The Joan Weill Adirondack Library is home to the solar array and has a green roof! The green roof has insulating properties and helps the facility to stay around 56 degrees. When entering campus you may notice the large “hill” leading to the back of the library, this is our green roof! Not only does it help with insulating the building and therefore conserving energy, but green roofs can also help  reduce noise, help manage stormwater runoff, sequester carbon, minimize the “Urban Heat Island Effect”. It also makes a great place to sit and have a picnic!  

Supporting Local Small Scale Hydroelectric Energy

How Much Electricity Did Our Library Solar Panel Generate this Month?

January 2016 Solar Electricity Generation

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December 2015 Solar Electricity Generation

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November 2015 Solar Electricity Generation

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October 2015 Solar Electricity Generation

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Check out this video on how solar panels are made!