The University of Massachusetts (UMass) is a public research university system located in the United States of America. The system is composed of five campuses located in Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Worcester. Founded in 1863, UMass is the largest public university system in the state of Massachusetts, with over 75,000 students enrolled across its campuses.
As a leading institution in higher education, UMass is committed to sustainability and decarbonisation efforts. The university has set ambitious goals to reduce its carbon footprint and become carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve this, UMass has implemented a number of initiatives across its campuses, including the use of renewable energy sources and the adoption of energy-efficient technologies.
One of the key initiatives that UMass has undertaken to achieve its decarbonisation goals is the implementation of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs). Corporate PPAs are long-term contracts between a renewable energy developer and a corporate buyer, in which the buyer agrees to purchase the energy generated by the developer’s renewable energy project. By entering into these agreements, UMass is able to secure a stable and predictable source of renewable energy, while also supporting the growth of the renewable energy industry.
UMass has already entered into several corporate PPAs for renewable energy projects across its campuses. In 2020, the university signed a 20-year PPA with a solar developer for a 5.5 MW solar project located in Hadley, Massachusetts. The project is expected to generate over 8 million kWh of electricity annually, which is equivalent to the energy consumption of over 1,000 homes. In addition, UMass has also signed a PPA for a 12.9 MW wind project located in Maine, which is expected to generate over 40 million kWh of electricity annually.
In addition to corporate PPAs, UMass has also implemented a number of other initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint and promote renewable energy. The university has installed over 4 MW of solar panels across its campuses, which generate over 5 million kWh of electricity annually. UMass has also implemented energy-efficient technologies, such as LED lighting and building automation systems, which have resulted in significant energy savings.
UMass has also established a corporate energy team, which is responsible for managing the university’s energy use and promoting energy efficiency. The team works closely with campus departments to identify opportunities for energy savings and implement energy-efficient technologies. In addition, the team also manages the university’s energy procurement, including the negotiation of corporate PPAs and the purchase of renewable energy credits.
Overall, UMass is a leader in sustainability and decarbonisation efforts in the higher education sector. The university’s commitment to renewable energy and energy efficiency has resulted in significant reductions in its carbon footprint, while also supporting the growth of the renewable energy industry. Through its corporate PPAs, UMass is able to secure a stable and predictable source of renewable energy, while also contributing to the transition to a low-carbon economy.