Cypress College Wins Overall Best Project at 2019 Excellence in Energy and Sustainability Awards

Cypress College was honored with a 2019 Excellence in Energy and Sustainability award on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at the California Community Colleges Board of Governors (CCC BOG) meeting in Sacramento for its commitment to reducing the campus’ reliance on electricity. The college and the North Orange County Community College District received top recognition as the Best Project — Large District Category.

The award was presented for Cypress College’s chilled-water, thermal-energy storage tank, which reduces cost and increases energy efficiency. In addition to Cypress, the Board of Governors honored nearly a dozen California community colleges and college districts for environmentally sensitive projects developed to save taxpayers more than $2 million annually.

“We are thrilled to have our project recognized by the state Chancellor’s Office,” said JoAnna Schilling, Ph.D., president of Cypress College. “Sustainability is one of our top priorities. Bringing the energy storage tank online is the result of significant effort by current and former employees who share a vision of providing sound energy and fiscal stewardship.”

The award was received on behalf of the college by Phil Fleming, Cypress College’s Physical Plant and Facilities director, during the CCC BOG meeting. In addition to Fleming’s leadership, the project was initiated and developed under the direction of two now-retired Cypress College employees: Albert Miranda, Fleming’s predecessor, and Karen Cant, the former vice president of Administrative Services. Cypress College’s HVAC staff are also integral to the implementation and operation of the thermal-energy storage tank.

“With 115 colleges across the state, the California Community Colleges have a responsibility to meet the state’s climate change goals,” said Board of Governors President Tom Epstein. “The Board is pleased to recognize this year’s winners for setting the standard in taking action to protect our environment while saving taxpayer dollars.”

Cypress’ 890,000-gallon chilled water Thermal Energy Storage (TES) tank is connected to a chilled-water system that loops the campus to reduce electricity demand. The $7.82 million project included more than $1.7 million of Proposition 39 funds.

“We at Cypress College are honored to receive this award and do our part to reduce our energy use on campus,” said Alexander Porter, Cypress College’s vice president of Administrative Services. “This innovative project saves us $162,000 in annual energy costs and reduces our consumption by 448,000 kilowatt-hours, which is the equivalent to powering a 2,000-square-foot home for more than 37 years. This is just the beginning. We continue to strive to reduce our overall energy usage, and seek sustainable and green energy sources to power our campus.”

Established in 2012 to recognize leadership in implementing goals set forth in Proposition 39 — the California Clean Energy Jobs Act — the Excellence in Energy and Sustainability Awards recognize schools striving to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation on their campuses. Awards are given in the following categories: Excellence in Energy and Sustainability-Proposition 39 Projects, Excellence in Energy and Sustainability-Faculty/Student Initiatives, and Excellence in Energy and Sustainability-Sustainability Champion.

Visit the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office website for a complete list of winning projects.

About Cypress College:
Cypress College offers students a pathway to their future in an environment in which employees commit to joining students on their educational journey. The college’s half-million-plus alumni include actors, athletes, doctors, executives, mechanics, nurses, and teachers. For some, Cypress College is the ticket into their university of choice, and for others, it provides essential training for a prosperous career. Just one Cypress College class is often all it takes to provide cutting-edge skills that lead to a promotion or a new job.

Cypress College’s 16,000 students and the highly qualified teaching faculty are proud of the many excellent academic and vocational programs. Cypress College offers 56 university-transfer majors, 176 career-certificate programs, and degrees in 73 areas of study. The college’s traditional semesters begin in January and August, while short-term courses start throughout the year. A Cypress College education costs $46 per unit — $138 for a typical, full-credit class — California’s lowest tuition. Financial aid and scholarships are also available to qualifying students.

Cypress College is one of three campuses in the North Orange County Community College District and a member of the 115-campus California Community College system. The college primarily serves the cities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Garden Grove, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Seal Beach, and Stanton.

Located at 9200 Valley View Street in Cypress, the college is easily accessible from several Southern California freeways, including the 5, 91, 605, 22, and 405. The campus is just a stone’s-throw from Downtown Disney and Knott’s Berry Farm.


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