Renewable Energy

COA is making a conscious effort to pursue renewable energy sources; the energy that does not come from renewable sources is offset with the purchase of carbon credits.

Students have participated in several local projects encouraging renewable energy, including the installation of a wind turbine at Beech Hill Farm in 2009. The turbine was complemented by an additional one in Spring 2011. Similar solar panel strategies have been implemented at the Rockefeller Farms, and students have upgraded both systems to raise the solar generating capacity. In Fall 2011, solar panels were installed on campus, and plans for additional campus installations are currently underway.
Student activities in renewable energy development are not limited to wind turbines and solar panels. In 2011, students built an electric vehicle with a solar panel on its hood to demonstrate emerging transportation technology. Another student group has been working toward supplying the island with butanol— a gasoline replacement made from food waste. Using butanol would reduce not only petroleum use but other waste as well as producing compost. COA’s Sustainable Business Hatchery has financially supported these efforts by providing funds to purchase a small fermentation tank to begin testing.
COA’s practical applications of sustainable technology can be seen all over campus. One of the most prominent projects is the wood pellet boiler that provides heat and hot water for six student residences and the new campus center. Highly sensitive computer monitoring systems keep emissions from the boiler at a minimum.

Rated Top Green School By

  • Sierra Magazine
  • Grist.org
  • Princeton Review