As most of the modern world is discovering, green building and green concepts benefit not only the environment but are also often more cost efficient over the long run. The following highlights show our emerald side...
Napa Valley College Goes Solar
Since June of 2006, the electricity generated by the College’s 1.2 Megawatt solar system has reduced emissions of carbon dioxide by over 781 tons. This reduction is equivalent to: removing 156 cars from the road for a year or saving 220 acres of forest. The generated electricity provides enough power to run the campus through the daylight hours – equivalent to the power needed to run 1000 homes. The project has allowed the college to redirect several hundred thousands of dollars per year from utility bills to classrooms.
Central Chilled Water Plant - Coming On-line November 2007
Placed in service Fall 2007, the Central Chill Water Plant is another cost and environment saving project at Napa Valley College – a thermal energy storage system. Traditional air conditioning will be replaced with a new system that will utilize ice water to cool the classrooms. Benefiting both California’s electrical grid and the college’s general fund, this system will operate primarily at night, when electricity is both more available and less expensive, to make over 1 million pounds of ice. During the day, pumps (powered by the solar array) will move water over the ice and around to buildings on campus where converted building systems will circulate the ice cooled air.
Pond & Historic Tulucay Creek Restoration
In the summer of 2006, the college undertook two projects to improve drainage, stormwater treatment, and native habitat on campus. Work was carried out to dredge the college’s badly choked storm water collection pond back to a depth that is better able to filter storm water runoff and support habitat for river otters, snowy egrets, and a vast number of other species.
In tandem with that project, the silted and clogged underground pipe that carried water under the sports fields was removed. Removing the pipe not only joined the pond habitat to wetlands in the north, which increased acreage of continuous habitat, it also improved drainage from the campus.