Univ. of New Hampshire, Ball State Make Green Plans

Univ. of New Hampshire, Ball State Make Green Plans

Two universities this week announced significant programs to reduce emissions and increase sustainability on their campuses.

UNH announced a partnership with Waste Management to pipe landfill gas to power its Durham campus, and Ball State committed to becoming carbon neutral under the Presidents' Climate Commitment.

Under its EcoLine project, created in cooperation with Waste Management, UNH will be the first school in the nation to use landfill gas as its main source of energy, according to a statement issued by the school. Ecoline will pipe purified natural gas from Waste Management's Rochester landfill, and will replace standard natural gas as the source of as much as 85 percent of the campus's energy.

Waste Management and UNH will begin work on the Rochester gas processing plant to purify the gas, and start building a 12.7-mile underground pipeline to transport the gas to campus. Work is expected to be completed by the fall of 2008. The EcoLine project is the latest in a series of landfill gas-to-energy projects announced by Waste Management. The company says it has planned 60 renewable energy facilities that will generate more than 700 megawatts of renewable energy per year.

Also this week, Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., announced that it would seek to go carbon neutral as part of its affiliation with the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment. In joining the 342 other schools that have signed the Commitment, Ball State will develop a comprehensive plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across the campus's operations.

Among the steps the school has already taken to reduce its environmental impact, Ball State will open the doors this fall on two LEED-certified green buildings on campus, and is already at work on replacing its older, coal-fired boilers and water chillers with a state-of-the-art system that will run cleaner and be much more energy efficient.

"There are 476,000 universities in the country and they have the ability to have an enormous effect on the environment by doing things like reducing carbon, recycling, and conserving energy and water," Kevin Koester, the director of Ball State's Center for Energy Research, Education and Service, told the BSU Daily News.