UNH Supports Local Renewable Energy and Saves Money
UNH uses over 70,000,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) per year to power the entire campus. To put that in perspective, the average NH home uses approximately 7,000 kWh/yr, so UNH uses the equivalent of 10,000 homes. With our Combined Heat and Power Plant, we can produce 88% of our total power needs while providing heat to the majority of campus buildings through our Ecoline project that uses a processed landfill gas as its primary fuel. However, that still means we need to buy over 8 million kWh per year, which would cost over $1.2M each year.
In 2015, UNH partnered with a small Hydro-Power facility in Antrim, NH to provide electricity for a dozen of smaller accounts that UNH uses. In late May of this year, UNH similarly partnered with 2 other Hydro facilities, one in Groveton, NH and one in Hinsdale, NH, to provide power for the bulk of our remaining power needs to the campus. Both contracts will provide cost savings over $200,000 annually to UNH.
Energy Manager Adam Kohler states, “We are very happy with our new agreements and the ability to select where our purchased power is coming from. These contracts allow us to reduce our energy costs while supporting local renewable energy producers. Solar power gets most of the press these days, but small hydropower producers are an important part of the state’s renewable energy portfolio. We are now projecting that over 85% of our imported electricity will be generated from local renewable sources.