Log In

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

Overall Rating Platinum
Overall Score 85.51
Liaison Jennifer Andrews
Submission Date July 27, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of New Hampshire
OP-6: Clean and Renewable Energy

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 2.37 / 4.00 Adam Kohler
Campus Energy Manager
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Total energy consumption (all sources, excluding transportation fuels), performance year :
909,018.50 MMBtu

Total clean and renewable electricity generated on site during the performance year and for which the institution retains or has retired the associated environmental attributes:
0 MMBtu

A brief description of on-site renewable electricity generating devices :

We have a campus co-generation plant, powered by landfill gas, which supplies the vast majority of our electric needs. However, we sell the associated RECs, so claim 0.

Non-electric renewable energy generated on-site, performance year:
298,320.60 MMBtu

A brief description of on-site renewable non-electric energy devices:

As mentioned above, EcoLine, a landfill gas pipeline constructed by NH in partnership with Waste Management, is the primary fuel source for the on-campus COGEN plant for heating, cooling and electricity.

UNH sells REC's for the electricity generated off our EcoLine landfill gas pipeline into our cogeneration plan - but retain the rights to the environmental attributes of the thermal energy generated.


We also have a small solar thermal installation on campus.

Total clean and renewable electricity generated by off-site projects that the institution catalyzed and for which the institution retains or has retired the associated environmental attributes, performance year:
0 MMBtu

A brief description of off-site, institution-catalyzed, renewable electricity generating devices:

While we do not retain the RECs--we are using a renewable resource for our electricity. For the modest portion of our electric needs that does not come from our cogeneration plant, we recently went to market with an RFP for 3-4 mWh's annually for renewable energy. In 2015 we began partnering with a small local hydro provider; the contract with UNH (including the stipulation that the RECs would be sold) helped make it viable to expand the production at the small local dam we are using.

For the bulk of our electricity we use our cogen plant, fueld by the EcoLine landfill gas pipeline. This is a 12.7 mile underground pipeline that delivers purified methane gas from Waste Management's nearby Turnkey Recycling and Environmental Enterprise (TREE) landfill facility in Rochester. The landfill methane gas is collected from 300 wells in the landfill, purified, and then piped to the on-campus Co-Generation Plant (COGEN). The landfill gas replaces commercial natural gas as the primary fuel in UNH’s COGEN plant. Construction on the EcoLine project began in 2007, and in April 2009 the pipeline came online to begin delivering up to 85% of the campus' energy needs. UNH is the first university in the country to use landfill gas as its primary fuel source.

EcoLine cost an estimated $49 million - all internally-funded - with an anticipated payback within 10 years of the project. Both the COGEN plant and the landfill gas projects were financed by the campus through borrowing.

Total third-party certified RECs, GOs and/or similar renewable energy products (including renewable electricity purchased through a utility-provided certified green power option) purchased during the performance year:
241,371 MMBtu

A brief description of the RECs, GOs and/or similar renewable energy products, including contract timeframes:

Green e Certified Wind Renewable Energy Certificates from 3Degrees Group. 70,739 RECs. Green e Reporting Year 2016 (July 1, 2015-March 31, 2017)

We purchased 70,739 MWh because that was equal to our previous year's total electricity demand on campus (both the electricity we purchased and the electricity we generated on-site, and we wanted to ensure that we could legitimately state that 100% of our electricity use is renewable.)

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Electricity use, by source (percentage of total, 0-100):
Percentage of total electricity use (0-100)
Biomass ---
Coal ---
Geothermal ---
Hydro ---
Natural gas ---
Nuclear ---
Solar photovoltaic ---
Wind 100
Other (please specify and explain below) ---

A brief description of other sources of electricity not specified above:

UNH is powering its campus with enriched and purified natural gas, courtesy of the local landfill, meaning that every bit of trash that ends up there ends up powering the university (Durham) while lowering energy costs and decreasing environ- mental impact. UNH sells Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from this project and reinvests part of the proceeds back into energy efficiency initiatives on campus. As such, we cannot claim the renewable benefits associated with on-campus electricity production. To counter this, and to further support the development of renewable energy technologies and markets in the US we purchase Green Certified Renewable Energy Credits. Our generation mix indicated above, then, is based on that REC purchase.

Energy used for heating buildings, by source::
Percentage of total energy used to heat buildings (0-100)
Biomass ---
Coal ---
Electricity ---
Fuel oil ---
Geothermal ---
Natural gas ---
Other (please specify and explain below) ---

A brief description of other sources of building heating not specified above:

Percentage of total energy consumption from clean and renewable sources:

Based on the energy allocations used for our GHG inventory (which are themselves based on best practice guidance from the EPA Climate Leaders program), roughly 60% of the energy used to power our co-generation plant is allocated to thermal energy production and 40% is allocated to electricity production. Since, as noted above, we retain the thermal renewable energy credits associated with our use of local landflll gas, the figure above under "Option 2" includes the renewable thermal energy we utilize from the Ecoline pipeline (297,443 MMBTU in FY 2017); it also includes our two small solar thermal installations (877.5 MMBTU in FY 2017).

The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.