At a Glance
College or University
Clean and Renewable Energy
Alyssa Watt looked into the feasibility of using biomass as an energy source for Dartmouth College, and evaluated various funding opportunities for energy transition.
Dartmouth College enlisted EDF Climate Corps fellow Alyssa Watt to create a strategy for three critical components of the College’s proposed Energy Transformation. Having set a GHG reduction target of 30% by 2030 and pending renewable energy targets, Dartmouth wanted to move forward with major renewable energy, energy efficiency and infrastructure upgrade projects. And, the Dartmouth Energy Team wanted to dive deeper into a few of the larger components of their transformation plan.
Alyssa, in collaboration with another EDF Climate Corps fellow, worked with the Office of Sustainability and Operations Facilities and Management Team to evaluate the possibilities around procuring wood fuel for a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant. She weighed the pros and cons of options, ranging from working with a national broker to sourcing biomass from small scale logging contractors, and ranked them according to highly valued sustainability factors.
Alyssa also assessed federal and state financing and grant programs to determine if these were viable financing strategies for Dartmouth. She presented a multifaceted financing portfolio that outlined a strategy and best financing approach for the four main portions of the Energy Transformation.
The final component Alyssa worked on was a renewable electricity strategy to help meet pending renewable energy targets. She proposed a portfolio approach that involved sourcing electric from many local/regional renewable projects as a way to reduce reliance on traditional grid electric. Instead of entering into a large scale virtual power purchase agreement, a popular approach for universities, this strategy would allow Dartmouth to create additionality within their electric grid, while providing access to renewables for community members.
Alyssa estimates that if implemented, Dartmouth could achieve 58% renewable electricity by 2025 and 100% renewable electric by 2050. In addition, the College would be able to procure the primary fuel source (biomass) for a new CHP plant in a sustainable way with an incredibly transparent supply chain.