General Theological Seminary going green

General Theological Seminary in New York City, will begin construction this month on of one of the largest geothermal projects in the Northeast, converting the school’s present heating-cooling system, powered by fossil fuel, to a new energy-efficient geothermal system. Drilling is expected to begin August 7 on a series of wells along the Tenth Avenue side of the campus in front of the soon-to-be-completed Desmond Tutu Center. In just the first ten years of the new system’s operation, which was approved by Community Board 4 last summer, the Seminary will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by more than 14,000 tons. The need for roof-level cooling towers and window air conditioners will be permanently eliminated, helping to preserve the architectural integrity of the campus, an entire city block of historic buildings with a serene and open interior space of lawns and towering trees.

According the seminary web site the project embodies The Episcopal Church’s environmental concerns:

The Seminary’s geothermal project is a model for the Episcopal Church’s long-standing concern for environmental stewardship. By eliminating tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the initiative makes an exemplary contribution to the effort to stem the tide of global warming, a problem cited by the church’s 2003 General Convention as a threat “to God’s good creation,” one that has a disproportionate impact on “the poorest and most vulnerable in the United States and around the world.” By eliminating dependence on fossil fuel to heat and cool 260,000 square feet of buildings, the project is a powerful endorsement of Convention legislation aimed at reducing dependence on fossil fuel, which, the Convention said, “harms air quality and public health and is contributing to changes in the global climate that threaten the lives and livelihoods of our neighbors around the world.” The General Convention, which meets every three years, attracts approximately 15,000 visitors to its host city. In 2006, in order to offset increased power usage by hotels accommodating Convention participants, the Church purchased green tags 25 percent in excess of the power usage of the convention itself.

Read more here and here

Past Posts