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UC Santa Cruz

  • UCSC runs a co-generation plant that burns fracked methane for electricity and heating. Real-time operation data can be viewed here.
  • In August 2015 the co-gen plant was upgraded from the original 2.6 MW plant to 4.4 MW, at a cost of $25 million, amortized in 2045
  • From 2015-2017 the campus hired outside consultants (Integral Group Oakland, CA; ARC Alternatives, San Francisco; and EcoShift Consulting San Cruz, CA) to look into energy options. The “best cost” scenario was: “The campus would be achieving carbon neutrality by 2025 by purchasing carbon offsets for anywhere from 60-85% of its its emissions, depending on how aggressive onsite emissions reductions are.

  • Notes provided by the Sustainability Office: The turbine engine produces electricity with a portion of the natural gas purchased from external providers to meet about 2/3rds of the campus electricity demand . You can see live data concerning the plant’s production on this site. It produces both power, and heat, making this a cogeneration unit. The waste heat collected from electric production almost meets the entire demand for heating in the buildings on science hill, and in parts of the campus core. Utilities are “master metered” at the whole-campus level by the utility providers (PG&E, SCMU, UC ESU), and the Energy Department manages and maintains an internal, campus-owned, sub-metering system that meters at the building level.



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