Climate Action & Energy

Climate Action

In 2011, the University set a goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25% below 2009 levels by 2025. In 2017 UVA published an updated Greenhouse Gas Action Plan to accelerate work to meet this goal.  Detailed results and methodology on UVA’s greenhouse gas footprint are published in an annual GHG inventory report.

Approximately 21% of UVA’s electricity comes from renewable sources.  The UVA Hollyfield Solar facility, a 17 megawatt utility scale solar generation facility located on 160 acres in King William County, produces about 12 percent of all the electricity used at the University of Virginia. Under the terms of the twenty-five year power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy, UVA owns all electricity output of the facility as well as all associated solar renewable energy credits, carbon benefits, and environmental attributes. This renewable energy generation facility, which features 65,000 solar panels that began production in September 2018, eliminates more than 17,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year.

The UVA Darden School of Business, a participant in this project, is assuming responsibility for about 25 percent of the electricity production, which enables the school to achieve its long-term zero-carbon goal.

The UVA Puller Solar facility, a 15 megawatt utility scale solar generation facility located on 120 acres in Middlesex County, produces about 9 percent of all electricity used at the University of Virginia. Under the terms of the twenty-five year power purchase agreement with Dominion Energy, UVA owns all electricity output of the facility as well as all associated solar renewable energy credits, carbon benefits, and environmental attributes. This renewable energy generation facility, which features 58,800 solar panels that began production in November 2018, eliminates more than 15,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions for the University each year.

Solar panels have also been installed on rooftops across Grounds. The Renewable Energy Tracker is a tool to help students, faculty, staff and the community stay up to date on the University’s progress towards a robust renewable energy portfolio. This year, UVA was named the EPA Green Power Champion of the Atlantic Coast Conference for the highest total renewable energy portfolio in the ACC.

Climate Action Goal

Be carbon neutral by 2030 and fossil fuel free by 2050

Progress:

Greenhouse gas emissions graph from the UVA Sustainability 2018-2019 Annual Report

Resources:

UVA Climate Goals FAQs

Greenhouse Gas Action Plan

Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report

Renewable Energy Tracker

Tour UVA's Solar Panels

Building Performance Energy and Water Tracker

Climate Action Together

 

Energy

Energy at UVA is a complex system that looks to the economy of scale and efficiency to provide the most reliable power to our over 500 buildings housing students, patients, and critical research.

Currently, UVA’s energy comes from two main sources: Dominion Energy for electricity and energy generated on Grounds for heating and cooling. Dominion Energy purchases electricity from other producers and includes coal, natural gas, renewable, nuclear and other forms of energy.

Energy produced on Grounds relies on coal, natural gas and solar and is distributed through UVA’s district energy system.

UVA’s goals to reduce energy demand and consumption and greenhouse gas emissions work in tandem to diversify our energy sources.

UVA’s Energy Goal

Reduce building energy use intensity 20% below 2010 by 2020 (Better Buildings Challenge)

Progress:

Energy Use Intensity graph from the UVA Sustainability 2018-2019 Annual Report