Energy Analysis Team
2019- 2020 Academic Year Projects
Solar Calculator Project
The team is working toward building a web app that tells California homeowners what payback period they should expect in switching to solar. Right now, the mathematical model is all finished and the team is working on coding the back end of the app. After the back end is done, the team will complete the presentation and front end of the app, as well as rollout so that as many people as possible will benefit from this tool.
CHERP Locally Grown Power (CLGP)
The team is writing a white paper for CLGP, a Claremont based nonprofit that seeks to use new solar panel technology to localize manufacturing and production of renewable energy. The white paper we are working towards will describe how CLGP can interact with the Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) structure. CCAs are a quickly growing energy distribution model that allows cities to access renewable energy and reduce energy prices. The white paper will describe how CCAs and CLGP can work together to reach California’s carbon goals and for a greener energy grid. Right now, we are writing the rough draft of the paper and hope to finish the draft before the end of the semester.
2018- 2019 Academic Year Projects
The passage of an environmental regulation is only the first step towards meaningfully changing the way an industry operates. The enforcement of regulations is an equally important part of this process, yet it is not scrutinized under the public eye to the same extent as the legislation itself. The Energy Team is writing a report and filming an informational video meant to educate the public about the complexity of the enforcement of environmental regulations, and on some of the ways that companies fail to comply with them.
Solar Calculator Project
A cursory Google search will procure several different examples of online calculators meant to estimate the potential savings for a homeowner purchasing a rooftop solar array. However, these existing calculators fail to be transparent about their model, and most of them immediately link to Solar Company websites, bringing their objectivity into question for many people. The Energy Team is creating a calculator of this type which will be embedded in the REC website, and will provide an estimation of the payback period of a solar array given a house’s address and monthly electricity bill. The REC calculator will not resemble a sales pitch like many others, and will have a breakdown of its underlying model to provide a trustworthy estimation for its user.
2017- 2018 Academic Year Projects
Energy Efficiency Audit for the Immaculate Heart Community’s Kenmore Residence
The team conducted an energy audit of the Kenmore Residence of the Immaculate Heart Community. Dr. Angie Dickson of the IHC asked the Energy Analysis team to make recommendations on energy usage, water usage, landscaping, and residential purchasing. The IHC believes that the greatest moral issue of today is the destruction of the earth, especially its effect on the poor and disenfranchised. One of their primary goals as an organization is stewardship for the environment, and therefore want to limit their environmental impact.
EDF Partnership – Oil & Gas Pollution Monitoring
Tim O’Connor (Director of California Oil & Gas, EDF) and Irene Burga (Oil & Gas Associate, EDF) have contacted the Energy Analysis and Environmental Governance team managers to work on a project the EDF has been pursuing. The EDF would like to have the LA City Council pass ordinances/resolutions relating to the installation of continuous monitoring devices at Los Angeles-area oil production sites. This will aid in the understanding of the causes of ambient pollution, which is already being measured. To begin tackling the LA City Council, the REC has been tasked with targeting Culver City first as an initial stepping stone to garner support for greater pollution monitoring at oil facilities. The REC wrote a resolution and will engage in developing community engagement strategies and local-level municipal outreach.
2016 – 2017 Academic Year Student Projects
Energy Efficiency Audit for Mt. San Antonio Gardens
Mt. San Antionio Gardens Energy Audit Report
The Energy Analysis team is continued its partnership with Mt. San Antonio Gardens, a 31-acre, 500-residence retirement home in Claremont and Pomona. This year, they assessed the upfront cost, energy savings, and ROI of insulating the residential units using various insulating materials. The team also measured light levels in large common areas to optimize artificial lighting usage, collected data on usage of commercial ice machines around the campus, and researched different types of efficient hot water heaters for residential units.
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan and Endangered Species
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is a proposal for a utility-scale solar project in the Mojave Desert. Using ArcGIS mapping, the team visually displayed critical habitats of five endangered species that live in the Mojave Desert, overlaid with plans for area of the solar facility to see how it will affect the Mojave’s endangered species. The team composed a report summarizing their findings on compliance with the Endangered Species Act. The team also engaged in conversations with the Center for Biological Diversity, the Nature Conservancy, and the Amargosa Conservancy for expert opinions to include in the report.
2015 – 2016 Academic Year Student Projects
Claremont Energy Challenge Scorecard
As the one-year mark approaches for the Claremont Energy Challenge, the team evaluated the milestones reached thus far to see if the Challenge is on track to meet its goals. To gain a deeper understanding of the Challenge’s significance, the team analyzed its accomplishments in the context of the Claremont Sustainable City Plan and various statewide legislative goals.
Mt. San Antonio Gardens Energy Audit
The Energy Analysis team helped Mt. San Antonio Gardens, a local retirement community, evaluate and improve the campus’ energy usage. Because of time and labor restraints, the team analyzed a few key categories of energy usage such as insulation, HVAC systems, and outdoor lighting, working closely with the Gardens staff and residents to establish an energy benchmark and provide recommendations for energy reduction. The team chose two project areas on which they focused their analysis: HVAC systems and solar arrays.
2014 – 2015 Academic Year Student Projects
Leadership in the Claremont-wide Effort on the $5 million Georgetown Energy Prize Competition
REC students have taken the leading role in recruiting, organizing, and guiding the 5C students to work with city leaders, the Claremont Colleges faculty, and Claremont residents on this initiative, named the Claremont Energy Challenge. Claremont was named semi-finalist in this national energy-saving competition to win the $5 million prize.
The City of Claremont launched a city-wide initiative named the Claremont Energy Challenge whose goal is to educate and involved every sector and demographic within the community in the many benefits of energy efficiency and connect residents with rebates, financing, grants and other available resources. The Energy Analysis team worked with community members on this project in a variety of capacities. They helped to organize student interns across the Claremont Colleges to increase student involvement. The community-centered focus of this project necessitated reaching all demographics, so they utilized behavioral psychology to compose targeted marketing strategies. Furthermore, a variety of tools such as GIS, financial analysis, and others were used to compile the outreach materials needed to make this project a success.