UGA has conducted various studies to incorporate renewable energies into ongoing campus operations.
Building Integrated PV Systems
The UGA Solar Demonstration Project is a tool for researching and learning about renewable solar energy on the UGA campus. Installed on the roof of the Jackson Street Building – a newly renovated home for the award-winning College of Environment & Design – the project includes seventy-two MAGE Powertec 240 photovoltaic panels which harness energy from the sun. The electricity captured by the panels is converted to AC power and used in the Jackson Street Building to power lights, mechanical systems, and more. Overall the project will generate nearly 30,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, enough to power approximately 90 fluorescent light fixtures or 189 laptops for 10-hours each working day of the year. In terms of avoided emissions from solar versus using purchased power generated from coal, the Solar Demonstration Project is equivalent to removing five personal vehicles from our local roadways every year. Economically, the panels will reduce monthly electricity bills and pay for themselves in fourteen years or less.
The UGA Solar Demonstration Project was installed in Summer 2012 as a partnership between the Office of University Architects, Facilities Management Division and the Office of Sustainability with partial funding provided by student green fees. Multiple academic units, including the College of Engineering, Terry College of Business, and College of Environment & Design, will utilize the project as a tool for research and learning.
Solar Parking Lot Lighting
Solar powered parking lot lighting is installed at the UGA Club Sports Complex.
Solar Thermal Hot Water Heating
A demonstration solar thermal hot water system was installed at the UGA Bioconversion Center with a grant acquired by faculty in the College of Engineering.
UGA is a leader in biofuel research, particularly through the Bioenergy Systems Research Initiative (BSRI). In ongoing operations, UGA Campus transit operates on B-20 biodiesel when financially feasible and various alternative fuel mixes are tested in campus service vehicles.
Biogas created from an innovative waste management system at the UGA Double Bridges Farm Swine Unit is used to power the treatment of swine waste. Manure from the swine unit is flushed to a fully enclosed anaerobic digester using harvested rainwater. Once inside the digester, the treated waste produces biogas which is inturn captured and reused to heat the digester and treat the waste, creating a closed-loop system.