Amherst College planning to be free of fossil-fuels by 2030

Hampshire County

Amherst College has adopted a plan to free of fossil-fuels by 2030.

According to Amherst College Spokesperson Caroline Hanna, the plan was announced Tuesday and is part of the college’s commitment to responsible environmental stewardship. 

A task force of students, faculty, and staff, who Hanna said have been working for years, to develop a solution, concluded that an energy system transformation is necessary to achieve carbon reductions that are wanted, needed, and realistic. 

Hanna said the transformation will involve changing the campus’ energy system from their current one powered by steam to renewable electrical-powered heat pumps that use geothermal energy sources. 

The college has already taken significant measures to support climate action and has reduced their carbon footprint by 30 percent over the past 10 years. 

The college’s most recent step to further reduce their carbon footprint was partnering with four other New England schools to purchase and build a new solar power facility in Maine.

Jim Brassord, Chief of Campus Operations at Amherst College, told 22News, “It will be a comprehensive project that plays out during the course of a few years and that project will involve installing all new infrastructure for the campus to replace the steam-based fossil fuel-based infrastructure.”

Read More: Amherst among 5 New England colleges partnering on solar facility in Maine

The purchase will allow the college to replace the current grid-sourced electricity with solar power by 2020. This will help the college reduce their carbon footprint further by another 17 percent. 

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