By Rachel Vick
St. John’s University’s path to a greener campus just got easier with the help of new public funds.
The $ 1,792,750 from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will be used to support several projects over the next three years focused on reducing energy use and carbon emissions.
“At the University of St. John’s, we believe that sustainability is a long-term shared responsibility to help meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generations,” said University spokesperson Brian Browne. “The funding received from New York State will help move the Queens Campus further on a more efficient path of sustainability and help St. John’s take a big step towards reducing our carbon footprint.
Campus boilers currently rely on fossil fuels to generate heat, but with funding, existing steam-powered domestic hot water generators will be converted to electric heat pump DHW generators in several buildings.
Two existing absorption cooling plants at the Montgoris Dining Hall and the university’s law school will also be converted to work on eliminating the use of natural gas during the summer months on campus.
The upgrades support an energy master plan for SJU, developed in 2017 to achieve a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.
Commercial and industrial buildings account for 33% of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions in New York State, according to NYSERDA.
Funding was provided through a $ 14.5 million Commercial and Industrial Carbon Challenge grant as part of the Regional Economic Development Council Initiative’s Consolidated Funding Request.
Projects with profitable modernization potential were selected and those benefiting disadvantaged communities were prioritized.
“With each round of C&I Carbon Challenge awards, the state supports high-impact clean energy projects that help some of the world’s largest energy users reduce their carbon footprint,” said NYSERDA President and CEO Doreen Harris. “These commercial and industrial companies are committed to energy efficiency and reduction of on-site emissions from their operations, which will improve their communities while serving as an example of climate action for other heavy users of water. ‘energy.”