Increasing global environmental problems require a rapid response from universities (Sharp, 2002). Energy consumption of universities is increasing due to, for example, expansion in use of electronics and new building constructions (Levine, 2009; Sharp, 2002). There are increasing numbers of initiatives on university campuses to address climate change. The American College and University President's Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) is an effort by a group of colleges and universities that have pledged to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from their campus operations and become carbon neutral by a target date set by each university itself (ACUPCC, 2006).
This research presented an optimization approach to help decision makers of universities find an optimal energy plan that meet their environmental goals while minimizing costs associated with those energy plans. The optimization approach takes into consideration annual energy demand, budget constraints, and environmental constraints. This study analyzed the usefulness of a long-term planning approach. The results showed that a single long-term energy plan was better than integrated multiple short-term energy plans for a given planning horizon. However, long-term energy plans required higher capital investments. In addition, Monte Carlo simulation is used to analyze uncertainties associated with natural gas, electricity, and carbon prices. The optimization approach developed in this work can be used by university decision makers to make long-term decisions to meet their environmental goals in a cost effective manner.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Decision making--Mathematical models; Mathematical optimization; Universities and colleges--Energy consumption--United States; Energy conservation--United States--Planning
Sustainable Engineering (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Industrial and Systems Engineering (KGCOE)
Jain, Sourabh, "Optimization Modeling Approach to Facilitate Decision Making Process of Energy Planning on College Campuses" (2013). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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