Renewable Energy

COA is committed to energy conservation and the use of renewable energy on its campus, farms, and islands.

Students have participated in several local renewable energy projects, including the installation of a wind turbine at Beech Hill Farm in 2009. Solar panels have been installed on campus, and at both Beech Hill Farm and the Peggy Rockefeller Farms. Students have been involved in the planning and execution of all of these projects.

Student activities in renewable energy development are not limited to wind turbines and solar panels. In 2011, students built an small electric vehicle. Another student group worked toward supplying the island with butanol— a gasoline replacement made from food waste. Using butanol would reduce not only petroleum use but other waste as well as producing compost. COA’s Sustainable Business Hatchery has supported these efforts by providing funds to purchase a small fermentation tank to begin testing.

COA has a wood pellet boiler that provides heat and hot water for six student residences and the Deering Common Community center. The college's off-campus-generated electricity (93%) is covered by Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) purchased as the electricity is used in real time. The New Wind RECs are generated by wind farms in the Midwest and are provided by Constellation New Energy. They are Green-E certified. The amount of electricity provided by wind power and covered by RECs for FY14 was 834,111 kWh.

Rated Top Green School By

  • Sierra Magazine
  • Princeton Review

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