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Illuminating Energy Innovation and Initiatives

Photos by Erik Jepsen/UC San Diego Publications

New Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla recently went on a behind-the-scenes tour to see what makes UC San Diego one of the nation’s greenest universities. The tour was part of the Making Connections plan to introduce the Chancellor to the campus and community. It was designed to show Khosla how “we lead” in energy conservation and sustainability initiatives.

“During the tour, the chancellor expressed his amazement at the breadth and depth of our energy and sustainability programs,” said Russ Thackston, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Auxiliary & Plant Services. “He also demonstrated both his and the campus’ continued commitment to remain a global sustainability leader.”

More on Making Connections

As part of the Making Connections plan to introduce UC San Diego’s eighth Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla, our new leader spent his first weeks learning the many ways that we lead, we heal, we explore and we discover.

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Exploring Our Ocean Origin

Led by Vice Chancellor of Resource Management & Planning Gary Matthews, Khosla met the dedicated staff who run our Central Utility Plant, the hub of the campus Energy Management System and microgrid.  The plant provides 85 percent of the campus energy needs.  By using clean-burning natural gas, the plant saves $8 million in annual energy costs.

Other stops included Fleet Services, the Sustainability Resource Center and the East Campus Energy Park, the site of numerous sustainability initiatives, including a renewable-energy fuel cell, solar arrays and a Compressed Natural Gas fueling station.

“The chancellor was interested and pleased to see that our students are involved in all aspects of our campus sustainability program,” said Dave Weil, Director of Building Commissioning & Sustainability.

“I am truly impressed with the dedicated staff members and bright students who ensure our progress toward the zero-carbon-footprint goal,” Khosla said.  “I see why UC San Diego is called a living laboratory for climate change research and solutions.”