At a Glance
College or University
Commercial Energy Efficiency, Clean and Renewable Energy, Data Analysis, Engagement and Behavior Change, Financial Evaluation and Planning, Sustainability and Energy Management Strategy
Christina Wildt evaluated different energy supply options that could enable Dartmouth College to meet its greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Dartmouth College has demonstrated a commitment to sustainability for many years, with a dedicated team focused on analyzing energy-efficiency investments and a nationally-recognized, sustainably-focused dining services program. The Office of Sustainability has worked to put these pieces of the sustainability puzzle together into a cohesive and coordinated plan for sustainability action, starting with energy. The energy section of the sustainability action plan will include targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and renewable energy, and Christina Wildt was tasked with evaluating possible emissions reductions and on-site renewables strategies as well as modeling scenarios that would help Dartmouth reach its energy goals.
Dartmouth College faces several difficult challenges when it comes to its energy system. First, due to its remote location, its thermal energy source options are limited. Second, due to the cold and long winters in Hanover, New Hampshire, about 75 percent of the College’s energy demand is thermal. Third, Dartmouth’s location is not optimal for either solar or wind power. Taking these and other challenges into account, Wildt, working closely with another EDF Climate Corps fellow, Molly C. Johnson, analyzed all thermal and electric energy supply options in the context of the proposed GHG reduction and renewable energy goals. The team took into account a rubric of criteria including cost, regulatory feasibility, risk, educational value, environmental impacts and more. With all of this information, Wildt and Johnson developed four strategies that were each modeled with four different primary thermal energy supply options, for a total of sixteen unique GHG reduction scenarios. These scenarios were presented, in a final presentation and report, to Dartmouth decision makers in order to help illustrate the types of changes that will be necessary to meet the proposed GHG reduction and renewable energy targets.
Through research, modeling and analysis, Wildt and her colleague were able to provide Dartmouth decision makers with many of the tools necessary to evaluate potential changes to the College’s energy system. By modeling sixteen different scenarios for GHG emissions reductions, the team was able to demonstrate the magnitude of practicable scenarios that would move the school closer to the proposed energy targets (between 26 and 66 percent reduction from a 2010 baseline). Wildt’s work will help to shape the energy future of Dartmouth College, and at the high end, these proposed scenarios surpass the College’s goal for 2025 and sets Dartmouth well on its way to reaching the proposed target for 2050.
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