Bard College awarded $64,000 NYSERDA Grant for Energy Master Plan


The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has awarded Bard College a $64,000 grant to help develop a campus energy master plan (EMP).

Bard will be working with Ecosystem Energy Services, to evaluate its current and future energy footprint and create a roadmap for achieving the College’s goals of campus net-zero energy and carbon neutrality by 2035.

A core aspect of the plan is to evaluate how to contain and/or reverse the continued rise in consumption, costs, and emissions. Focus will also be placed on replacing outdated equipment with high-efficiency alternatives.

The plan will review Bard’s existing geothermal systems and their potential expansion to existing buildings and new construction. The grant, issued through NYSERDA’s REV Campus Challenge Technical Assistance for Roadmaps Programme, includes $4,000 to support an internship for a graduate student from the Bard Center for Environmental Policy.

“For more than two decades, Bard has been using geothermal systems to access the stable temperatures in the ground for heating and cooling buildings. We are grateful to NYSERDA for the chance to evaluate how we’ve been doing, whether we can convert existing buildings to using ground-source heat pumps, and how to wisely incorporate them into future buildings,” said Laurie Husted, chief sustainability officer in the Bard Office of Sustainability (BOS).

Dan Smith, BOS energy manager, added, “geothermal systems use electricity but are much more efficient and sustainable than conventional systems that consume fossil fuels, and we can further reduce electricity consumption by adding complimentary renewable energy sources—something NYSERDA has helped us with through funding for solar panels and, more recently, through funding our investigation into the use of micro hydropower.”

“Colleges and universities play a pivotal role in helping the state meet its ambitious energy goals set by Governor Cuomo,” said Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA. “Investments like these made through the REV Campus Challenge help ensure campus and community resiliency and build a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for generations to come.”