Berkeley can build a clean electrified campus energy system, and demonstrate novel technologies and a decarbonized microgrid at scale
Berkeley is committed to sustainable practices in its campus operations. As home to a legacy of research in renewable and efficient energy, the campus’s carbon emissions are less today than three decades ago, despite 30% higher student enrollment.
In terms of population and number of structures, the Berkeley campus is similar in size and complexity to a mid-sized California city; indeed, if Berkeley were its own city, it would be among the top ten percent of cities in the state by population.
Clean energy experts and Berkeley’s faculty and staff have studied the increasing energy, decarbonization and resiliency needs of the campus, identifying viable solutions to electrify the campus for the next 30 to 40 years. A shovel ready plan- the Integrated Resource & Activation Plan- is underway.
Berkeley can build a clean electrified campus energy system by:
- Replacing the campus' natural gas-fired cogeneration plant with electric heat pumps.
- Providing the campus microgrid with power from on-site and utility-distributed clean electricity.
- Additional efficiency and renewable energy will be accomplished through solar photovoltaic panels, advanced building controls and other technologies like fuel cells, geothermal and hydrogen resources to bolster resiliency.
- New battery and thermal storage supporting peak energy demand, emergency shutdowns, and return clean energy to the grid.
- Activating Berkeley’s brain-trust for on-going research, and a spectrum of living lab opportunities.
- Serving as a model for other colleges, universities, and public institutions.
Funding strategies under consideration include debt, public-private partnerships, gifts, grants, state and federal funding, and impact investment.
Marc Fisher, Vice Chancellor of Administration(link is external)
Sally McGarrahan, Associate Vice Chancellor of Facilities Services(link is external)
Kira Stoll, Chief Sustainability & Carbon Solutions Officer
Berkeley Clean Energy Campus Advisory Committee
The committee includes faculty, staff, administrators and student representatives to advise on the initiative. The initial focus will be to provide input on the project's Integrated Resource and Activation Plan (IRAP), a 12-month effort to create a technical and financial blueprint that will enable the campus to creatively fund and build the new energy system. The committee is chaired by the leadership team. See the committee charge and membership.