Electrification Studies Yield Pathways to Net Zero Emissions by 2050

April 17, 2023
chiller in the central energy plant

Studies were recently conducted to develop a Strategic Decarbonization Master Plan that would meet Plan 2030 and NYC Local Law 97 (LL97) emissions reduction requirements. Recommendations from the studies include electrification of the Morningside campus Central Energy Plant as well as potential electrification and energy efficiency initiatives at the Manhattanville and Medical Center campuses.

The Morningside study determined that building-side energy conservation alone is insufficient to meet the University’s climate goals, and that onsite renewables are not a practical option. Three potential pathways were proposed to upgrade Columbia’s Morningside Central Energy Plant: upgrading to electric steam boilers, steam heat pumps, or hot water heat pumps. Each comes with varying degrees of efficiency, cost, and disruption to campus activities. Meetings around a favored pathway continue to be held with key stakeholders and a decision is expected in the coming months.