The University of Pennsylvania, commonly referred to as Penn, is a private Ivy League research university located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1740, it is one of the oldest universities in the United States and is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world.
As a leading institution of higher education, Penn has a strong commitment to sustainability and decarbonisation. The university has set ambitious goals to reduce its carbon footprint, including a commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2042. To achieve this goal, Penn has implemented a range of initiatives to reduce energy consumption and increase the use of renewable energy sources.
One of the key initiatives that Penn has undertaken to reduce its carbon footprint is the implementation of a corporate energy strategy. This strategy involves the development of a comprehensive energy management plan that includes the use of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency measures, and the implementation of corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs).
Corporate PPAs are a key component of Penn's energy strategy, as they allow the university to purchase renewable energy directly from a supplier. This approach not only helps to reduce the university's carbon footprint, but it also provides a stable and predictable source of energy at a competitive price. Penn has entered into several corporate PPAs in recent years, including agreements to purchase wind and solar energy from suppliers in Pennsylvania and Texas.
In addition to corporate PPAs, Penn has also invested in on-site renewable energy generation. The university has installed several solar arrays on its campus, including a 2 MW solar array on the roof of its Palestra sports arena. This solar array is one of the largest on a U.S. college campus and provides approximately 10% of the university's electricity needs.
Penn has also implemented a range of energy efficiency measures to reduce its energy consumption. These measures include the installation of energy-efficient lighting and HVAC systems, the implementation of building automation systems, and the use of energy-efficient appliances and equipment. In addition, the university has implemented a range of behavioural change programs to encourage staff and students to adopt energy-saving practices.
Overall, Penn's commitment to sustainability and decarbonisation is reflected in its comprehensive energy management plan and its investment in renewable energy sources. The university's use of corporate PPAs and on-site renewable energy generation has helped to reduce its carbon footprint and provide a stable and predictable source of energy. As a leading institution of higher education, Penn's commitment to sustainability serves as a model for other universities and organisations to follow.