University of California at Davis Project

Artist's rendering of a multi-colored modern building with four stories and slanted roofs. The sketch also includes lots of people walking and riding bicycles as well as trees and landscaping. Enlarge image

Rendering of the UC Davis Village Square, which will be powered by on-site renewable energy implemented through the CommRE project.
Courtesy of Transparent House, Inc.

Loading map...

The University of California at Davis (UC Davis) aims to achieve zero net energy use in the campus's West Village community through energy efficiency and renewable energy sources with a smart grid. The U.S. Department of Energy provided $2.5 million in funding for this Community Renewable Energy Deployment (CommRE) project.

West Village Energy Initiative

Through the West Village Energy Initiative, UC Davis and West Village Community Partnership, LLC are developing the West Village neighborhood, which will create opportunities for faculty, staff, and students to live locally and participate fully in the life of the campus.

The UC Davis CommRE project includes an energy strategy that reduces demand through energy efficiency measures and matches remaining demand with available renewable supplies. This two-step approach will result in zero net energy use on an annual basis. The project's smart-grid delivery system includes photovoltaic arrays and a fuel cell supplied with biogas from campus and neighborhood waste that will provide on-site renewable energy.

View the UC Davis project timeline.

Environmental and Economic Benefits

By 2008, all 10 University of California campuses had reduced emission levels to what they were in the year 2000. The university has set a new goal that all campuses reduce emission levels by an additional 10% by 2014.

The UC Davis West Village project will help meet this goal and will be one of the first large scale communities to be zero net energy entirely through on-site generation. It will be a model for future communities in California and will help accelerate the adoption and use of scalable renewable energy systems in the state and the nation.

The UC Davis Community Renewable Energy Deployment project will help drastically reduce:

  • Peak energy demand
  • Electricity, operation, and maintenance costs
  • Transmission and distribution losses
  • Greenhouse gas emissions.

Community Outreach

UC Davis and West Village Community Partnership are working together with Chevron Energy Solutions and the local utility, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, to create a viable business model for the delivery of this zero net energy community.

A total of more than $13 million in matching funds are committed to conduct critical design and engineering, ongoing public outreach, and the construction of necessary backbone infrastructure (both wet and dry utilities) to the UC Davis CommRE project. UC Davis is also receiving funding from California's Renewable-Based Energy Secure Communities (RESCO) program.

Visit the UC Davis West Village Web site to learn more about the project.