On January 10th, 2007 Diana Van Der Ploeg, President of Butte College in Oroville, CA signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC), making the institutional pledge to create a plan for pursuing climate neutrality and promoting education and research on climate and sustainability.  They have set a target date of 2015 for achieving climate neutrality.

Last week, Butte announced that it’s latest installation of solar photovoltaics, once completed in May 2011, will make the college grid positive – meaning it will generate more electricity on site than it purchases from the grid each year.  This leading project is another big step toward climate neutrality and sustainability.  Butte’s 2006 GHG inventory shows Scope 2 emissions of 2,942 metric tons CO2e – the updated report that will be submitted this fall will undoubtedly show the sharp drop in emissions associated with grid-purchased electricity due to these efforts.

The $17 million project was funded in large part by Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (CREBs) along with funding from the college and support from state and federal rebates and incentives.

President Van Der Ploeg points to active student involvement for much of the college’s success in moving towards sustainability.  This video, from Butte’s day of climate action on 10/24/09 (part of the international day of action organized by 350.org) shows the level of student engagement and creativity:

Raven’s Message from Daniel Dancer on Vimeo.