Portland State University won a $1.5 million grant to promote its plans for an energy-efficient EcoDistrict in the south side of downtown.
Armed with the new money from the U.S. Economic Development Administration, plus $2.1 million of its own in matching funds, PSU will replace the old boiler in its West Heating Plant with an efficient model, then install meters and energy-metering software at 18 university buildings plus three private buildings surrounding the campus. In the third phase of the project, PSU will install a “visualization theater” — seven 90-inch monitors to allow students, staff and energy experts to model energy-use scenarios for individual buildings and the district as a whole.
The project will take place over the next two years.
“This grant will position Portland State as a leader in energy efficiency research,” says Erin Flynn, associate vice president in PSU’s Office of Research and Strategic Partnerships. “We’ve always considered our campus a ‘Living Laboratory’ for sustainable practices, but this project pushes boundaries and will provide a model for other dense urban neighborhoods across the country.”