Existing Systems

Campus Buildings

The UMA Campus comprises of 280 buildings and approximately 12,800,000 gross square feet (GSF). Included in this study are the main campus located in Amherst and Hadley, MA as well as the Tillson Farm Campus, located in Amherst, MA. Building use types on campus include academic, research, administrative, offices, residence halls, dining halls, laboratory, athletics, library, health center and various support functions. Buildings remote to the central campus that would present a logistical and financial challenge to connect to a centralized heating and cooling system, such as the Hadley Farms and Venture Way buildings as well as the North Village Apartments have been excluded from this study. Carbon emissions from Hadley Farms and Venture Way Buildings will need to be addressed under a separate carbon mitigation plan. The North Village Apartments are scheduled to be demolished. A campus map indicating the study boundary is included below in Figure 1.

Greyed out Map with Purple Overlay
Figure 1: UMA CMP Campus Map


Campus Steam Heating System

The primary heating source on the UMA campus is steam which is produced by the Central Heating Plant (CHP) and distributed to the campus via an underground steam piping system. The total gross square footage served by the CHP is approximately 11,500,000 GSF. The CHP, which was built in 2007, includes a cogeneration system which provides roughly 70% of the campus electrical load as well as the heating for the campus. The campus peak heating load is approximately 300,000 pounds per hour (pph) of steam. The CHP includes five steam generating units which have a total steam capacity of 509,000 pph fueled by a combination of Natural Gas (NG), Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) and Renewable Fuel Oil (RFO) which are summarized in the Table 1 below.

Existing CHP Boiler Summary

Boiler # Installed Year Capacity (pph) Pressure (psig) / Temperature (°F) Fuel Type
100 2007 100,000 600 / 740 Nat. Gas
200 2007 125,000 600 / 740 Nat. Gas / ULSD
300 2007 125,000 200 / 475 Nat. Gas / ULSD
400 2007 125,000 200 / 475 Nat. Gas / ULSD
500 2020 34,000 300 / 422 Nat. Gas / Renewable Fuel Oil (future)


The CHP’s primary fuel is natural gas which is supplied through the Berkshire Gas Company’s distribution system. Due to the regional constraints UMA’s natural gas supply is periodically curtailed. The CHP utilizes onsite liquified natural gas and fuel oil storage systems to provide adequate heating and electricity during times of curtailment. Additional details on the Campus Heating Systems can be found in Appendix G.


Campus Cooling Systems

Approximately 5,600,000 GSF of the buildings on campus are currently connected to cooling systems. The remaining buildings on campus are not air conditioned. The centralized campus cooling is provided to buildings via regional chilled water districts and connected via chilled water distribution piping. The peak campus cooling load is approximately 16,000 tons of refrigeration (tons) and the installed cooling capacity on campus is 19,600 tons. There are three types of chillers used on campus to produce chilled water including water cooled, air cooled and steam absorption types. The air-cooled chillers provide 5% of the campus cooling, the steam absorption chillers provide 16% of the campus cooling load and the remaining 79% of the campus cooling is produced using water cooled chillers. To maximize the cooling efficiency and increase resiliency of the chilled water systems, most of the air-conditioned buildings on campus are connected to a chilled water district. Each of the seven chilled water districts on campus includes a district chilled water plant and a district of chilled water distribution piping serving multiple buildings. A summary of the chilled water districts with capacities and connected GSF is included in Table 2 below.

Chilled Water District Summary

CHW District Installed Capacity (tons) Building Area (GSF)
ISB 5,415 1,160,724
North 4,275 1,241,160
GRC 1,850 555,166
Whitmore / Fine Arts 1,550 480,481
Mullins 1,300 244,203
Commonwealth / Honors / Tobin 1,900 603,101
Dubois Library 1,565 569,984
Totals 17,855 4,854,819

Additional details on the Campus Cooling Systems can be found in Appendix G.


Standalone HVAC Systems / Buildings

There are 93 buildings, totaling approximately 1,030,000 GSF, that are not connected to the CHP or any of the chilled water districts. These buildings include the entire Tillson Farm campus.

Standalone buildings are heated using fuel oil, natural gas, or electric heating coils. Where air conditioned, these buildings are cooled using local refrigerant-based systems, including split systems, window units or rooftop packaged units.

There are three standalone geothermal HVAC installations on campus including Crotty Hall, Police Station, and the International Program Office. Crotty Hall, completed in 2016, was designed as a Net-Zero building. The Police Station, completed in 2011, is certified LEED GOLD.


Campus Electrical Systems

Existing Electrical System

Electrical distribution at UMA is provided through a central electric distribution system, owned by UMA that includes two switch stations used to transfer power from the utility company to the campus distribution system. Over 90% of the existing campus buildings are connected to this central distribution system. Buildings not connected to the central system have dedicated services from the local utility company.

Power is supplied through two switch stations, East and West. The West Switch Station is located within the CHP and East Switch Station is located near the Orchard Hill Residential Area. Eversource supplies the two switch stations with a total of four feeders. The East Switch Station is served by two feeders with a normal capacity of 5 megawatts (MW) and 8 MW. The West Switch Station is served by two feeders with a normal capacity of 14.3 MW each. According to the East/West Intertie Analysis by Waldron Engineering & Construction, under a feeder outage scenario the existing system has adequate capacity to serve the existing peak electric load of approximately 26 megawatts (MW) with only 5% spare capacity. As future load is added to the campus, the current system will not have adequate capacity. To address this issue, UMA is currently in construction of a new high voltage substation that will allow the two existing switch stations to transfer loads to one another and increase feeder capacity. This East/West Intertie project is expected to be completed by summer 2021. In addition to increased feeder capacity, the East/West Intertie will allow for the cogeneration systems at the CHP, specifically the combustion turbine and heat recovery steam generator, to increase their production, resulting in additional electricity and steam production.

Battery Systems

UMA has a 1.3MW/4MWh battery system which is used to reduce campus demand during times when the ISO NE system nears peak capacity. The battery system reduces campus peak electricity demands where UMA incurs wholesale generation capacity and transmission capacity costs. By charging the battery system during off-peak periods and discharging to coincide with each month’s coincident peak demand, this battery system has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce peak prices, and reduce costs in the capacity market. The battery system is interconnected to the campus’ distribution loop and is designed to island in the case of an Eversource outage, improving campus resiliency.

Campus Solar

As part of a long-term commitment to increasing clean, renewable energy generation on the UMA campus, UMA has installed multiple solar array installations with a total capacity of 5.7 megawatts DC of renewable, solar photovoltaic energy. Rooftop Solar arrays have been installed on the Recreation Center (242 kW), Computer Science (154 kW), Champions Center (250 kW), Fine Arts Center (155 kW) and Police Station (30 kW). In addition, solar arrays have been installed on new, steel canopy parking structures at three existing asphalt parking lots, Visitor Center (336 kW), Lot 25 (1,927 kW) and Lot 44 North (2,575 kW). All the arrays except for the visitor center were executed under a power purchase agreement with Con Edison. As part of the agreement, Con Edison owns the REC’s for the first 10 years of the agreement and UMA retains the REC’s starting in 2027 and beyond. The visitor center project was financed internally by UMA and provides control over all of RECs generated by the system.