Water Testing Lab

Energy Advisory Group

Experience and Expertise

The Energy Advisory Group is charged with creating an energy blueprint to carry Michigan Tech through the 25-year period ending in 2035, which is the 150-year anniversary of the University. The blueprint is to cover the following:

  • Main campus electrical
  • Main campus thermal
  • University motor pool
  • Facilities motorized equipment

Objectives Selected

  • Energy cost reduction
  • Energy conservation
  • Sustainability and increased use of renewable energy
  • Carbon reduction
  • Energy security

Recommended Approach to Reaching Goals and Objectives

  • Start with biomass cogeneration or lab building HVAC retrofit
  • Plow energy savings back into additional energy reduction projects
  • With no changes the main campus will spend $146 million for energy over the next twenty-five years.
  • Phased and disciplined approach can reduce this by $15 to $40 million
  • Carbon reduction could be in the range of 15 to 30 percent

Progress to Date

  • Campus presentation—Feb 2009
  • Surveyed campus—Spring 2009
  • Reviewed performance contracting vs. self funding
  • Reviewed supply side and demand side options
  • Modeled biomass cogeneration plant
  • Visited local biomass facilities
  • Preliminary discussions with biomass suppliers
  • Requested and received local biomass availability study from Forestry Dept.
  • Worked with Green Campus Enterprise
  • Evaluated heat pumps vs waste heat options for the GLRC
  • Looked at electric chillers vs steam absorption
  • Reviewed biodiesel options for heavy motorized equipment, campus generators and heating plant boilers
  • Considered alternate fuel vehicles including hybrids, CNG, diesel and electric
  • Presented interim report to Administration in Fall 2010
  • Recommended professional services for developing lab building solutions
  • Informal presentation to Board of Control in Dec 2010
  • University requested $29.5 million for “Next Generation Energy Complex” in capital outlay request to the State of Michigan which included a biomass component.  Request was turned down.

Demand Side Energy Options Considered

  • Lab building HVAC retrofit
  • Lighting projects
  • Computer energy reduction

Supply Side Energy Options Considered

  • Biomass cogeneration
  • Waste heat recovery
  • Ground source heat pumps
  • Wind energy
  • Solar
  • Mini nuclear and fuel cells