Planning for District Energy, CHP and Microgrids: A checklist for campus administrators

District Energy, First Quarter 2014, pp.36

January 2014

Van Ness Feldman's Terese Richmond, David Yaffe, Shelley Fidler, and Jeff Winmill offer insight on essential considerations for higher education administrators to improve energy efficiency and environmental stewardship, reduce costs, and maintain reliability.

Colleges and universities, community and technical colleges, corporate campuses, research institutions and hospitals engage in planning for the use and development of their real estate.  For institutions with a long-term planning horizon, continued redevelopment or retrofitting is necessary to maintain utility and competitiveness and to increase resilience in a world experiencing climate change.  However, the allocation of funds for building or utility system upgrades must compete with other campus needs and priorities.

Effective planning for district energy, CHP and microgrids will enhance the likelihood that savings associated with the power usage and climate control needs of individual buildings will be realized and that the central plant and distribution system can by ideally located.

It is important for the institution to have a clear understanding of the objectives it seeks to achieve.  This article provides a checklist of issues that administrative decision makers should consider in determining whether to implement any of these technologies.  This checklist is designed to provide administrators with a decision-making tool that can be used in consultation with engineering, construction and facilities personnel to assess whether to pursue these concepts for their campus. The list identifies a logical sequencing of major tasks to be accomplished and assists in identifying the team of internal and external experts that will be needed.  With the addition of a few sector-specific elements, this checklist can be applied to all types of multi-building campuses.

Click here to view the checklist.

For more information on the International District Energy Association's 27th Annual Campus Energy Conference, for which this paper was prepared, click here.