Missouri University of Science and Technology has won first place in the video voting component of the 2013 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards, a month-long contest featuring sustainability initiatives at 19 colleges and universities across the country. Missouri S&T’s video will be featured online at planetforward.org over the next few months.
Missouri S&T’s video, which focused on two sustainable research projects – the S&T Solar Village and the campus’s geothermal energy project – received 16,374 votes. Glendale Community College in Arizona came in second with 8,978 votes. Winners were announced Thursday, May 2.
Missouri S&T’s Solar Village is a living laboratory of four solar-powered homes built to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon in past years. Currently occupied by faculty and students, the homes operate on their own solar energy grid, feature sustainable building practices and feed into a prototype community solar storage bank.
Missouri S&T’s Geothermal Energy Project will supply energy to 15 campus buildings and the chilled water system, when completed in 2014. The system, which will replace the 60-year-old S&T power plant, is projected to save more than $1 million in energy and operational costs annually. It will include approximately 600 wells with pipes creating closed geothermal loops to serve three campus geothermal plants that will provide energy to the campus.
Voting began on April 1 and concluded on April 30 on planetforward.org. All visitors to the site were allowed to vote once per video every 24 hours. All votes that were within this guideline were counted toward the final totals. Votes that were cast outside the one-per-day guideline were disqualified from the competition.
Finalists in the competition were chosen by the Second Nature board members in January and asked to produce a two-to-three-minute video highlighting their campus sustainability initiatives.
The annual Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards recognize innovative and advanced leadership in education for sustainability, climate mitigation and adaptation, and institutionalized sustainability at signatory campuses of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. Final overall award winners will be chosen later this spring by members of the Second Nature Board of Directors unaffiliated with ACUPCC signatory schools.