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Skidmore College

Geothermal energy

About 35% of the campus is heated and cooled with geothermal energy. The Arthur Zankel Music Center, Filene Music Building, Saisselin Art Center, Northwoods and Sussman Village apartments, the Murray-Aikins Dining Hall, Wiecking Hall, the Tang Teaching Museum and the Dance Center use geothermal heating and cooling systems. These systems provide 100% of the cooling needs and about 70% of the heating needs of the apartments and music center and about 95% of the heating needs of the dining hall. For more information on geothermal energy, please click here.

District Geothermal Systems

In 2012, Skidmore College won the Best Campus Sustainability Case Study Award from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for its innovative district geothermal system. A district field is one that supplies heating and cooling energy to multiple buildings, unlike standalone systems that provide energy to a single building. By designing a district system, Skidmore reduced the total number of bores required to support campus buildings and the amount of associated infrastructure. Skidmore has installed two district fields and built a third district field in 2016 for a future building project.

The Arts Quad district field has 84 bores that supply heating and cooling energy to Zankel, Filene and Saisselin. Buildings in the Arts Quad can also exchange energy with each other. The ability to exchange heating and cooling loads increases the efficiency of the system and decreases the demand on the geothermal field.

In 2014, Skidmore installed its second district field under Wiecking Green. This field has 64 bores and supplies heating and cooling energy to Wiecking, the Tang and the Dance Center.

In 2015, approximately 100 engineers, policymakers and students visited Skidmore for the annual New York Geothermal Energy Organization (NY-GEO) conference. Skidmore was selected to host the conference, dubbed “Geopalooza,” because it has implemented numerous sustainability initiatives that align with the NY-GEO agenda, including expansive geothermal systems.

Many of Skidmore's geothermal fields are highlighted in orange below.

Skidmore's geothermal fields are highlights in orange.