A routine closed-door meeting of key planning officials in Albemarle, Charlottesville, and University of Virginia was held last week on October 15. The Land Use and Environmental Planning Committee (LUEPC) had four presentations on items related to climate adaptation.
Paul Zmick, Director of Energy and Utilities at UVA, gave a presentation on the school’s efforts to develop a strategy for thermal energy use. That’s one way UVA hopes to become fossil-free by the year 2050. A recent study evaluated dozens of potential ways to reduce reliance on old technology. Some strategies are recommended to be dropped from further analysis such as solar thermal, biomass, and deep geothermal. (presentation)
(This article originally appeared in the October 26, 2021 edition of Charlottesville Community Engagement. Please consider a contribution through Patreon to help sustain this work!)
Lance Stewart, the county’s director of facilities and environmental services, gave a presentation on the recent publication of the 2018 Greenhouse Gas Inventory. That tool will be the primary way Albemarle measures its programs toward emissions reduction goals. The next milestone is to reach 45 percent of 2008 levels by 2030. (presentation)
“Emissions estimated to have decreased by nearly 10% between 2008 and 2018,” reads one slide in the presentation. “To achieve the County’s 2030 target, we need to reduce emissions by 39 percent from 2018.”
The presentation also states that the effectiveness of the Albemarle’s Climate Action Plan won’t be known until after the 2022 inventory is published in 2024.
Bill Mawyer of the Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority briefed LUEPC on a program to recover methane gas that is a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process. The Moores Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant generates 32 million cubic feet of methane each year that is captured as biogas and used internally in plant operations to produce biosolids which are shipped to Waverly, Virginia for eventual use as fertilizers. (presentation)
Albemarle County’s Bill Fritz gave a presentation on “Large Scale Solar opportunities being studied and deployed for Albemarle County.” That is the only of the fourth that was not posted to the LUEPC website.