Energy

Collaboration between Vanderbilt and Nashville on Climate Change through Renewable Energy

Summary

As the threat of climate change becomes more explicit, various organizations and regions are trying their best to deal with it. An example of a collaboration working towards that is Nashville, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University. The Green Invest partnership will […]

As the threat of climate change becomes more explicit, various organizations and regions are trying their best to deal with it. An example of a collaboration working towards that is Nashville, Tennessee, and Vanderbilt University. The Green Invest partnership will include the Nashville Electric Service and Tennessee Valley Authority. It aims to make the availability and access to renewable energy in the area relatively high and accessible.

Vanderbilt is planning to use the partnership to ensure that only renewable energy powers the campus. It will also commit to carbon neutrality. According to Chancellor Daniel Diermeier, such a partnership involving government, universities, and business is suitable for this particular challenge, climate change, which affects people of all walks of life.

The source of renewable energy will be a solar farm. Its manufacturer will be the Silicon Ranch Corporation, whereas the location will be Tullahoma, Tennessee. This project will be the second collaboration involving Vanderbilt University, the Silicon Ranch Corporation, Nashville Electric Service, and Tennessee Valley Authority regarding the Green Invest program.

The institution was planning to use 100% renewable energy and have committed to carbon neutrality by 2050. It made the declaration in 2019, and if things go as planned, that might take four years only. The first project will see it deal with 70% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2022. On the other hand, the second one will eliminate the 30% indirect greenhouse gas emission from electricity by 2023.

This project will create many jobs because hundreds of people will be providing labor during solar project construction. The Vanderbilt community will get opportunities in research and outstanding education.

The university identified ways of investing in renewable energy with the help of the BlueSky Vision Study. The BlueSky Vision Executive and Advisory Committees took ten months to conclude the study. Its recommendations included sufficient clean energy storage and mitigating greenhouse gas emissions on campus through procuring off-site renewable energy. Other ways were conserving energy and producing renewable energy.

A study by the Large-Scale Renewable Energy Study Advisory Committee came in handy regarding large-scale renewable energy sources outside the campus. John Cooper, the Mayor of Nashville, has been carrying out city initiatives to promote sustainability. He said that it is a win-win for both Vanderbilt and Nashville.

Its administration’s vice-chancellor Eric Kopstain, the project will help the institution achieve its carbon neutrality fast. After all, it is known for its climate commitments and its expertise in climate research. David Daniels Allen, Distinguished Chair in Law, said that the project would positively impact Nashville’s economy. He also added that the region’s momentum for renewable power is also growing. By 2023, the new solar farm project will be complete if things go as planned.

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