Project highlights sustainability effortsPSU President Steve Scott used a geothermal heating and cooling project at McPherson Hall and Timmons Chapel as an opportunity last spring to highlight the university’s ongoing efforts to reduce energy consumption, save money and become a more sustainable campus.

“It’s been nearly a year since we formally adopted environmental sustainability as one of the university’s six strategic goals,” Scott said. “This is now a lens through which we view all projects and an essential part of our character.”

The president said the installation of the new geothermal heating and cooling systems represented the first phase of a $4.5 million energy savings plan.

“Through this plan, we will undertake a multi-year effort to reduce waste, maximize energy savings and educate our students, faculty and staff about best energy practices,” the president said.

The geothermal projects, which cost about $600,000, were made possible through a $250,000 Department of Energy grant. The geothermal projects are the first steps in a $4.5 million energy savings plan that the president described as “a multi-year effort to reduce waste, maximize energy savings, and educate our students, faculty and staff about best energy practices.”

Scott said the energy savings plan is not just good for the environment, but also makes good economic sense.

“The savings in utility costs alone are expected to cover the initial investment of $4.5 million within 13 years,” Scott said.