Biofuels Center powered by solar & geothermal

The Biofuels Center received ARRA funds from the NC Department of Commerce supported by the U.S. DOE to make its building more energy efficient.  The funds were provided under Award #DE-EE0000157. 

The Center is in a 40 year old building, originally constructed for the U.S. Department of Agriculture for tobacco research.  Systems such as heating and cooling as well as the building envelope date back to when the building was orginally constructed. Due to the age of the systems and the building, the heating and cooling of the building, that services Center staff and the Biofuels Accelerator, is highly inefficient.  The building was deeded to the NCDA when federal research ended.  The energy efficiency retrofit project includes the following:

  • Weather stripping to ensure the building envelope isn't leaking heat or cold
  • Solar photovoltaic array on the roof to generate power
  • Energy efficient lighting
  • A geothermal heating and cooling system to use passive energy efficiencies

A real-time graph of the output of the Center's solar system can be seen below.