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Renewable Energy

Utilizing local, renewable energy is a longstanding practice at Colgate University. While renewable energy already meets the majority of our campus energy needs, we are constantly exploring new options that will help us meet our climate neutrality goals.
Large farm machinery harvesting a crop of willow shoots for the willow biomass project at Colgate.

Willow Biomass Pilot Project

We've planted 60,000 8-inch willow shoots on a 7.5-acre plot just a mile from campus. Over the next 20 years, we anticipate yielding approximately 900 dry tons of biomass.

Once harvested, our willow will be chipped and used as a supplemental fuel source in our biomass energy plant. READ MORE, STUDENT RESEARCH

Wood-fired Boiler

Colgate's wood-fired boiler satisfies more than 75 percent of the campus's heat and domestic hot water needs.

The boiler processes approximately 20,000 tons of locally and sustainably harvested wood chips per year. Each year, this renewable and carbon-neutral resource helps the university avoid consuming the equivalent of 1.2 million gallons of fuel oil and saves us over $1.8 million in heating costs.

Solar Thermal

The solar thermal panels on the Creative Arts House (100 Broad Street) will eliminate our use of nearly 900 gallons of fuel oil while reducing our heating costs by over $2,600 each year. Furthermore, the 600 square-feet of solar panels will reduce Colgate’s carbon footprint by over nine tons, inching us ever closer to our goal of carbon neutrality by 2019. Since these systems can last for over 20 years, this turns out to be a good deal for both our energy budget and for the planet. READ MORE


Electricity and Energy Savings

Colgate University consumes around 30 million kWh of electricity each year (or over 7,000 kWh per person) and this costs us over $1.3 million annually. Almost all electricity used on campus comes from hydroelectricity, with some supplemental nuclear, coal, and natural gas power.

As a result, our carbon emissions through electricity consumption is relatively low. Nevertheless, there are many things we can do to reduce our individual and campus-wide electricity consumption. READ MORE