Green Mountain College offers students hands-on opportunities to explore the potential of renewable energy on the Poultney campus and beyond. Student Campus Greening Projects, the REED Program, Design/Build courses, club activities and strong administrative support have resulted in a variety of renewable energy projects at the college.
In 2006, GMC became the first campus to be powered in part through investment in Central Vermont Public Service’s Cow Power program, through which the utility delivers energy created from burning biogas created from cow manure on Vermont dairy farms. The College committed to buy 50 percent of its main campus electric usage from Cow Power and 100 percent on all other accounts, which include the president’s house, the college farm, the college inn and alumni house, and an off-campus residence hall in Killington. Read more.
GMC's Biomass Facility utilizes excess steam produced by the wood boilers to activate power-producing turbines and create electricity through co-generation. This will produce 400,000 kWh of electricity annually and meet about 20 percent of the College’s power needs and, at certain times, provide surplus electrical energy capacity to the local utility Central Vermont Public Service.
Solar Thermal Hot Water
In the spring of 2009, students under the direction of faculty and GMC alumni working in the renewable energy field installed solar panels on the roof of the barn on the College farm. The solar array heats water for the College farm to sterilize equipment used in its small-scale dairy operation. Excess hot water is piped to GMC’s new Solar Harvest Center. Read about the project, featured as a National Wildlife Federation 2009 Campus Ecology Case Study.