Dartmouth College

At a Glance


College or University

Project Type

Clean and Renewable Energy




Hanover, NH


Yao Wu developed a renewable electric strategy, a biomass procurement plan for a potential new CHP plant and a project financing outline for Dartmouth College’s Energy Transformation.


Dartmouth College enlisted Yao Wu to create a strategy for three critical components of the College’s proposed campus-wide Energy Transformation. With a GHG reduction target of 30% by 2030 and pending renewable energy targets, Dartmouth is considering renewable energy, energy efficiency and infrastructure upgrade projects as ways to change its business-as-usual grid electric purchase and meet its goals.


Through kick-off meetings with the Office of Sustainability, Facilities Operations and Management Team, Yao fleshed out the College’s past endeavors, current situation and future vision for its ambitious Energy Transformation Plan. After researching the local wood industry and conducting interviews with stakeholders, she investigated viable procurement models for wood chips within a 50 mile radius from the proposed new combined heat and power (CHP) plant. She weighed the pros and cons of supply models, ranking each option based on fuel cost and supply chain transparency, before interviewing other institutions with biomass heating facilities in the region for case studies on each model.

Yao also worked on a project financing strategy. She assessed federal and state financing incentives to determine the viability of these in the near term, and presented a portfolio of best-suited financing strategies for each of the four main portions of the Energy Transformation.

Finally, Yao developed a renewable electricity procurement plan. She studied common practices for green power purchase to understand how the market trend evolves. Having evaluated all viable options under New Hampshire state regulations, she identified specific projects that best met Dartmouth’s preference of additional, local procurement with high visual and community impact. 

Potential Impact

At the end of her fellowship, Yao presented the renewable electric, biomass procurement and project financing strategy to Dartmouth’s Energy Team. If all recommendations are implemented, Dartmouth will be able to finance a significant part of its energy transformation off-balance sheet through a PPA with low-interest federal loans, as well as procure biomass in a sustainable, transparent way. Yao estimates that the college could reach 58% renewable electricity by 2025, all while making significant economic and environmental contributions to the local rural community.

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