The small city that is the University of Maryland requires energy to keep it going. Facilities Management (FM) teams provide that energy and work to ensure that it is as sustainably generated as possible. With President Pines’ accelerated goal of carbon neutrality by 2025, the sustainability aspect has become more important than ever.
Since 2020, all electricity delivered to campus by regional power plants comes from renewable sources. That is largely the result of a concentrated effort by FM’s Energy and Engineering (E & E) unit.
E & E also works closely with other units in FM’s Operations, Maintenance & Utilities department to provide detailed data that results in informed decisions on energy efficiency at the building level. Another important facet of E & E’s work is to connect with other groups on campus to help them address energy efficiency.
Crucial to all of this is the fact that energy efficiency at UMD is now addressed much earlier in the process for any building project, whether new building or major renovations.
NextGen Energy Program
The NextGen Energy Program (NextGen) is a plan to replace, renew and modernize the University of Maryland College Park’s aging energy system through a proposed public-private partnership (P3). As a carbon-neutral solution, NextGen will help meet UMD;s sustainability goals and advance its Climate Action Plan.
In May, 2021, a briefing was held to bring the campus community up to date on this project. A video of that briefing is available. You can also sign up for email updates on the project.
Demand Response Program
The Demand Response Program is an initiative that is spearheaded by regional transmission organizations (RTOs) aimed at increasing grid stability during periods of high energy consumption. Demand Response, a voluntary program, asks large wholesale customers such as UMD to reduce their electricity use (load) during periods of high power demand or when the reliability of the grid is threatened. So, instead of producing more energy at great expense to consumers and the environment, grid operators are able to offset the imbalance through strategic customer partnerships. Participation in this program allows grid operators more flexibility to balance supply and demand among its customers, forestalling critical shortages and avoiding high distribution charges from other vendors.
Learn more about the Demand Response Program.