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Colorado College Becoming Greener

Significant projects undertaken, much progress made

During the past year Colorado College has made significant progress on meeting its carbon goals and successfully completed numerous sustainability projects. The Colorado College 2016 Energy Report outlines the progress in detail.

In fiscal year 2016, CC experienced a 3.1 percent decrease in energy consumption, and since the 2008 baseline year, campus energy intensity per square foot has decreased 25.8 percent. Notable accomplishments for 2016 include:

  • CC reduced costs in each utility area: natural gas, water, electric, waste water, and irrigation. A significant portion of the annual utilities budget—approximately 30 percent— was returned to support other mission essential services and functions.
  • This year 7.5 percent of the electricity used on campus was produced from solar power, and 3.9 percent of the electricity consumed was produced from on-campus renewable energy platforms such as the rooftop solar panels on the El Pomar Sports Center, Cornerstone Arts Center, Spencer Center, Worner Campus Center, Edith Kinney Gaylord Apartments, CC Child Care Center, Synergy House, and an on-campus dean’s house.
  • CC’s energy costs averaged $0.82 per square foot, which is a 11.9 percent decrease from the previous year.
  • Because of these improvements, total costs remained relatively unchanged, even with increases in most utility rates.
  • In 2015, Colorado College achieved a gold rating, the second highest possible rating, from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (ASHEE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Ratings System (STARS).

Among the projects aimed at supporting campus energy efficiency goals and completed this year were:

  • The conversion to LED lighting in many facilities on campus. This takes advantage of utility rebates, improves lighting levels, and reduces energy consumption.
  • Student installation of two 15.5 kilowatt PV solar arrays at the Baca Campus during the 2015 New Student Orientation
  • Repairs to the Schlessman pool and central cooling plant reduced water consumption by approximately 4.1 million gallons
  • The installation of a 2,650-square-foot live green roof on Honnen Ice Arena
  • The drilling of 80 wells, each 400 feet deep and about five and a half inches wide, across Armstrong Quad to support the geothermal heating and cooling system for the new Tutt Library. 

Additionally, Colorado College is looking ahead to 2017 sustainability projects. Among them are:

  • Tutt Library commissioning (verification of construction and operation to insure high performance design is met). The library includes a geo exchange system, 110 kilowatt PV rooftop solar array, and a 130 kilowatt combined heat and power system.