Stanford University has just completed a transformational campus-wide energy system— replacing a 100% fossil-fuel-based combined heat and power plant with grid-sourced electricity and a first-of-its-kind heat recovery system. Positioning Stanford as a national leader in energy efficiency and carbon reduction, the results are impressive: greenhouse gas emissions are slashed by 68%; fossil fuel use by 65%; and campus-wide water use by 15%. This comprehensive Stanford Energy System Innovation (SESI) initiative will eliminate 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually, the equivalent of removing 32,000 cars from the road every year. Expected energy savings to Stanford over 35 years is $425 million. SESI combines an o site, dedicated solar farm producing 68 megawatts of clean renewable electricity via 150,000 high-eficiency photovoltaic panels; conversion of the heat supply of all buildings from steam to hot water; and an innovative heat recovery loop that captures nearly two-thirds of waste heat generated by the campus cooling system to produce hot water for the heating system. At its heart is a new Central Energy Facility that embodies the latest technological advances in heat recovery. Heated and chilled water is stored in three massive water tanks totaling 12 million gallons. A patented technology developed by Stanford continuously monitors the plant’s equipment, predicts campus energy loads, grid prices and weather, steering the system to optimal efficiency. The automated software also reviews its own performance.
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