Ever-Green Energy is accepting applications for the 2020 cohort of the Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality program, initiated to help higher education institutions accelerate their efforts to achieve carbon neutrality. Two schools will be selected to receive pro bono planning services to move their campus decarbonization strategies from study to implementation.

This program is focused on overcoming implementation hurdles including financing, infrastructure prioritization, and a practical analysis of near-term and implementable technologies.

Apply

To apply, access the web form or download and save the PDF application. The web form must be completed in a single web session. The application will remain open until Friday, August 7, 2020.

Webinars

Lessons learned from the first round of the program will be shared in a series of webinars starting June 25, 2020. Schools from the 2019 cohort, located in Minnesota, included University of Minnesota Morris, University of St. Thomas, and the College of Saint Benedict.

Students in Green Prairie mechanical room. Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota – Morris.

The webinars will provide additional information on how the program works and lessons learned that may be valuable for higher education campuses either considering applying this year or navigating their own carbon neutrality efforts. Learn more.

2020 Roadmap Cohort

  • Ever-Green will select two institutions to receive pro bono energy planning services.
  • The application process is open until the deadline: Friday, August 7, 2020.
  • Winners will be announced in September 2020.
  • The planning work will proceed in fall 2020.
  • Institutions will be selected based on criteria published in the application, with a focus on:
    • Existing commitments to carbon neutrality efforts
    • Ability to provide personnel to coordinate on-campus evaluation and activities
    • Presence or ability to create a multi-faceted stakeholder group to help create support for the work
    • Ability to cover travel costs (not to exceed $10,000).

2020 Timeline

  • June 15 – Application open
  • June 25 – Webinar 1: Lessons Learned from 2019 Roadmap Cohort 
  • July 15 – Webinar 2: Case Study: University of Minnesota – Morris
  • July 29 – Webinar 3: Financing Strategies for Decarbonization
  • August 7 – Application Deadline
  • September –Winner announced

The Scope of Services

Ever-Green acknowledges that each campus will have unique needs in their carbon neutrality planning and each selected institution will have the opportunity to customize the work, as long as it remains within the anticipated scope of available resources from our team. Standard activities could include:

  • Evaluation of production assets, distribution systems, building load, and energy efficiency opportunities
  • Assessment of opportunities for integrating innovative technologies and renewable solutions that can displace fossil fuels
  • Options for improving efficiency of existing district energy systems
  • Evaluation of current campus engagement and energy user education programming
  • Recommendation of potential financing strategies for improvements
  • Specific planning for implementation of preferred strategies

Questions? Contact the Ever-Green team.

Background

Campus energy planning has become an important focus for higher education leaders over the past decade. Through Ever-Green’s work with higher education partners, we have heard common stressors to this work including:

  • Constrained capital budgets
  • Turnover in long-time operations staff
  • Demand to meet ambitious sustainability goals
  • Concerns with volatile fuel prices
  • Emphasis on reliability to protect critical research or health care
  • Keeping up with campus growth

Campus leaders are seeking new pathways to improve their energy infrastructure, with a focus on decreasing costs, increasing efficiency, and meeting important carbon reduction goals.

Investments made today must be meet current needs, yet adapt as technologies and markets change. There is a need to balance innovation with smart investments to modernize systems, maximize budgets, reduce carbon emissions and water consumption, and support social equity. In addition to identifying technical solutions that fit the campus and community vision for the future, identifying solutions that are implementable and can be readily financed is crucial to success.  

A Pathway to Implementation

Regardless of where a campus is on the spectrum of energy planning between vision and execution, Ever-Green can help. Through our work with higher education partners, the Ever-Green team has developed a methodology for evaluating campus energy systems and developing a vision of financial and environmental stewardship for these systems.

Ever-Green's methodology includes study and planning, organizational and financing strategies, design and engineering, system construction, and operation, maintenance, and management with ongoing outreach and education efforts.

As a mission-driven organization, Ever-Green believes that bringing this methodology to more partners can drive greater efficiency and carbon reduction results, improving environmental outcomes for campuses and their communities. Ever-Green developed the Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality program to work toward this goal.