Hopkinsville Community College recently partnered with Energy Systems Group (ESG) of Newburg, Indiana on the implementation of several energy conservation measures and building improvements on the HCC campus.
Improvements at the Hopkinsville campus include: lighting upgrades, water conservation measures, HVAC controls, design and installation of a chiller, replacement of a boiler and the construction of a new, 83-space parking lot that incorporates pervious concrete. HCC is committed to making a positive, environmental contribution to our region, said HCC President Dr. Jim Selbe. The college serves over 3,700 students annually. We have an opportunity to leave a positive impression regarding green initiatives with those students. Hopefully, the increased awareness will lead students to incorporate energy efficiency in their own homes.
HCCs energy performance agreement with ESG guarantees that energy and operational savings over a 13-year period will cover the cost of building improvements. The college has been in the planning stage for more than two years to get a green project established that would provide energy improvements to the HCC campus and would also fulfill two of the colleges strategic goals a commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, stated HCC Chief Financial Officer Beverly Atwood.
ESG estimates that HCCs carbon footprint will be reduced by more than 400 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. This reduction is equivalent to one of the following annual environmental benefits: the reduction of emissions by removing approximately 82 vehicles from the road; creating power for more than 37 homes; or planting about 92 acres of forest. This project comes at a good time. As an institution of higher education, we struggle to contain rising expenditures as budget cuts continue. Our energy improvements will be budget neutral during this 13-year period of time, explained Atwood.
HCCs energy initiatives will also be used as a future teaching tool. The college has plans to install a wind turbine near the welding building that will harness exhausted fumes as wind speed to turn the turbine. The resulting power will be routed back into the welding building to provide at least part if not all of the electrical power that will be consumed in that building.