Redaptive: Developing a Net-Neutral Renewable Energy and Efficiency Project for the Institute for Advanced Study Campus
The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) sought to implement a large-scale net-neutral renewables and energy efficiency project on their research campus in Princeton, NJ. IAS partnered with Redaptive to reduce their academic campus’ carbon footprint and set an example for other educational institutions pursuing sustainable energy systems.
Redaptive’s partnership with the IAS campus achieved a net-neutral oriented project while overcoming capital and logistical barriers. Specifically, Redaptive’s Energy-As-A-Service platform with flexible capital and contracting enabled the successful implementation of this campus-wide project.
Challenge: Financial limits to implementing a large-scale portfolio-wide project with significant positive environmental impact.
Solution: Redaptive’s flexible capital solutions and contracting structure helped alleviate the financial burden.
Funding for this project was fully managed by Redaptive. Redaptive provided about $15.5M in capital up front for projects allowing clients like IAS to focus on their own operations while still achieving their efficiency and energy goals. Additionally, Redaptive’s services in this capacity allow for every unit of energy saved to immediately reduce energy spend for IAS.
Challenge: Measurably reduce energy consumption across their campus.
Solutions: Implementing a significant energy-as-a-service project alongside efficiency measure installations.
The path to energy reduction followed five crucial steps:
- Conduct a portfolio-level energy consumption audit to identify key opportunities to maximize portfolio savings.
- Work through a cycle design and review to develop a strategic equipment retrofit and renewable energy program tailored to the IAS campus. In this case, key efficiency upgrades were identified including LED lighting retrofits, hot water recovery system installation, and variable frequency drive implementation – in addition to steam system elimination, ionic bipolarization and harmonic mitigating transformers The renewable energy program showcased a large-scale geothermal energy system install on IAS property.
- Complete an engineering assessment phase of approximately 4 months prior to permitting and bidding. The construction period lasted approximately 18 months. Lighting was performed early to expedite savings during the engineering phase of the project.
- Install smart-meters to track consumption and progress alongside equipment efficiency upgrades and any renewable implementation.
- Manage continuous measurement and reporting on actual savings while performing any necessary equipment monitoring and maintenance for the duration of the contract.
Challenge: Limited examples for implementation models for reaching carbon neutrality in the education and research sector
Solution: Establish a new model of EaaS for an education and research campus
While over 450 educational institutions have made carbon neutrality goals, only 10 have reached their goals thus far*. This leaves a gap in the education and research sector for implementation models of success. This collaboration allowed Redaptive to develop a program specifically tailored to IAS, thereby setting a leading example for carbon neutrality progress in the education sector.
Redaptive’s Energy-as-a-Service model provided the upfront capital to remove financial barriers to project implementation. This financing structure allowed the project to get underway while taking on the responsibilities of any cost overrun, rebate collection, technology performance, and ongoing maintenance risks themselves.
Details on financing structure:
- Upfront Financing - Redaptive provided the financial investment needed to initiate multi-site upgrades.
- Implementation Guidance - Redaptive provided expertise, resources and management needed to implement energy and sustainability installations across multiple sites, enabling IAS to accelerate optimization and achieve carbon reduction goals.
- Ongoing energy and sustainability reporting - Redaptive deployed smart-sensors on its A.I.-powered platform to enable a robust system of data collection monitoring, and reporting – all of which helps with tracking, maintenance, and ongoing verification of equipment performance.
The Redaptive team opted to install both a geothermal renewable energy system on-site, as well as various equipment efficiency upgrades throughout the IAS campus’ 14 building portfolio. The geothermal renewable energy system required contractors to install 500 feet deep wells in 190 bored holes on campus. Efficient equipment installations included LED lighting, a hot water recovery system, and variable-frequency drives (VFDs).
Additionally, Redaptive utilized AI-enabled smart-metering technology to collect granular on-site data, provide ongoing efficiency and saving analytics, and develop performance-driven insights.
List of Technologies Applied & Equipment Replaced:
- AI-enabled smart-meters
- LED lighting
- Hot water recovery system
- Variable frequency drives (VFDs)
- Geothermal wells
- Steam system removal with water-to-water heat pumps and new 2 pipe FCU throughout the campus
- Harmonic mitigating transformers
- Bipolar Ionic air cleaners
Institute for Advanced Study
The Institute for Advanced Study has been an independent center for theoretical research and intellectual inquiry since its establishment in 1930 and seeks to advance the frontiers of knowledge across the sciences and humanities. The IAS is dedicated to enabling curiosity-driven exploration and fundamental discovery.
Redaptive’s Energy-as-a-Service solution included the installation of a geothermal system, LED lighting, a hot water recovery system, and variable-frequency drives (VFDs). These upgrades are expected to reduce the campus’s annual energy use by 2.83 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) and 226,000 therms. That is equivalent to 3,200 metric tons of CO2 emissions or the greenhouse gas emissions from 696 passenger vehicles or the energy use of 385 homes. Thanks to all of these measures, IAS expects to achieve millions in energy and infrastructure savings over the next decade.