Virginia Tech has been continuing a climate change tradition for thirteen years, the Light’s Out!/Power Down! Event. During this event, students and faculty will power down or unplug certain electronics and lights together for 90 minutes as a way to test how much power they would save. Their goal for this year was to only use 17,500 kw of energy, when their peak energy usage is typically at 26,500. During the event they reached a power demand of 17,400kw during the event and saved thousands of kilowatts of energy. This year’s event also included alternative options for students to unplug from their technology. They partnered with wellness and sports recreation groups to provide wellness activities for students to get outdoors like group walks, yoga, and meditation during the power down time.
“The university community reduced their total electrical power demand by over 9,000 kilowatts. The typical household, for example, draws less than 3 kilowatts of power on average.” said Steve Durfee, campus energy manager. “Exceeding our power demand goal for every year we’ve run the Lights Out!/Power Down! event is a testament to our division’s adaptability and the university community’s commitment to sustainability.”
Virginia Tech has goals to become carbon neutral and run completely off of renewable electricity by 2030. This event is part of a program through PJM Interconnection and the Virginia Department of Energy, called the Interruptible Load Reliability energy reduction program. PJM Interconnection is Virginia’s electrical grid operator in the Virginia Tech area. The goal of this even is to see how energy consumption can be reduced during a peak time it is being used the most, on hot summer days.
Click here to read the full article, originally published August 10, 2022, by VTx.