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  • AASHE-STARS

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

Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 61.37
Liaison Preston Jacobsen
Submission Date April 3, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

University of Tennessee at Knoxville
IN-24: Innovation A

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Preston Jacobsen
Sustainability Manager
Facilities Services
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
REC Restructuring Leads to Top Green Power Purchaser Title

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The University of Tennessee has restructured their Renewable Energy Credits purchasing process in order to become the nation's #1 green power purchaser in academia. The U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership announced in October 2016 that the University of Tennessee leads the College and University Challenge. (https://www.epa.gov/greenpower/green-power-partnership-top-30-college-university) To achieve this, the purchasing process of the Student Environmental Initiatives Fee was reevaluated and national, regional and local RECs rates were considered. With the change in the market since 2005, REC rates greatly decreased and thus more RECs could be purchased at a lower price.

The 2016 fiscal year ended with 245,666 megawatt hours of RECs purchased, offsetting 150,038.4 MT eCO2. This purchase fully offset the university’s greenhouse gas emissions from purchased electricity and brought the 2016 fiscal year net emissions down to 131,215.6 MT eCO2. The university is pleased that roughly 70% of emissions produced via on campus cogeneration, other stationary sources, fleet transportation, refrigerants and chemicals, fertilizers, and purchased electricity were offset by green power.

This rate restructuring process will save the Student Environmental Initiatives Facilities Fee approximately $96,000 per FY (based on traditional spending amount of $250,000/FY over the past five years) and has brought UT from #10 in the nation for green power use to #1 in the nation. The RECs purchased are Green-e Energy Certified with a product content of 99.1% wind, 9% solar sourced from Illinois and Tennessee. 50,000 kWh of RECs were bought as part of TVA's Green Power Switch® Southeastern RECs pilot, and the remainder were bought from Renewable Choice Energy. This successful REC purchasing restructuring has paved the way for a future Power Purchase Agreement.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Energy
Purchasing
Investment & Finance

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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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.