A $2 million grant through Pennsylvania's Alternative and Clean Energy program will help Duquesne University upgrade its Energy Center, which generates the bulk of electricity for campus with a clean-burning, natural gas turbine generator.
This marks the largest state grant that Duquesne has ever received.
"We are very grateful for the ACE program funding that will help us improve our energy efficiency and continue our sustainable development efforts," said Duquesne President Dr. Charles J. Dougherty. "Duquesne University has been and will continue to be a leader in the civic and economic vitality of Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This grant greatly affirms and strengthens that leadership in the area of clean energy."
A long-time pioneer in sustainability, Duquesne has operated a combined heat and power (cogeneration) facility since 1997 that generates electricity and uses the waste heat from the process to heat and cool campus buildings.
Annually, the natural gas-fired power plant produces approximately 75 percent of the power used for electricity and nearly 100 percent of the heating and cooling of the University's facilities.
It is Pennsylvania's first approved generation system for creating Alternative Energy Credits.
Duquesne purchases the remainder of its energy needs from renewable sources—this combination of energy generation and renewable energy purchasing led to the University's 100-percent reliance on clean energy.
The ACE grant will enable Duquesne University to: Increase boiler capacity by 2.5 times; Replace existing gas boilers with less-polluting, more efficient boilers; Update the steam heating generation system; Relocate roof penetrations for steam relief vents and stack locations to accommodate the future installation of a green roof on the Energy Center; Reduce the overall environmental and carbon footprint on the 50-acre campus.
The ACE-funded project is anticipated to save 18,256 million cubic feet of natural gas annually and provide $82,154 in annual cost savings.
Sustainability is intrinsic to Duquesne's mission, and the University practices responsible stewardship of natural resources. Among its recognition and accolades for its sustainable efforts, Duquesne University:
-- Was the first academic institution in Pennsylvania to receive the Environmental Protection Agency's Energy Star Combined Heat and Power Award
-- Named in April 2015 by the EPA (for the eighth consecutive time) as the Individual Conference Champion of the College & University Green Power Challenge, using more green power than any other school in the Atlantic 10
-- Ranked No. 28 (in January 2015) in the nation on the EPA's Top College and University Green Power Users.For more information, visit Duquesne University’s Sustainability webpage.