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Report: Oberlin College Sells $80 Million in ‘Climate Bonds’

Report: Oberlin College Sells $80 Million in ‘Climate Bonds’

“will allow the college to fully fund the first phases of its $140 million infrastructure overhaul”

Oberlin is apparently charging towards the “green economy.” Would you expect anything less from them?

The Chronicle-Telegram reports:

Oberlin College issues $80 million in climate bonds

Investors bought $80 million in bonds last week to finance Oberlin College’s four-year geothermal energy conversion project.

Following Stanford University, the Lorain County-based college is now the second higher education institution in the United States and third in the world to make use of Certified Climate Bonds for campus construction projects.

The green financing avenue can only be used for projects that align with the Paris Climate Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to lass than 2 degrees Celsius compared to temperatures before the age of industrialization.

When put up for sale, the climate bonds attracted bids totaling nearly three times the amount of the offering, according to Oberlin College.

The $80 million sale of bonds will allow the college to fully fund the first phases of its $140 million infrastructure overhaul, which entails digging about 1,100 geothermal wells and laying more than 9 miles of pipe.

The wells will draw water from deep underground, where it rests at a constant temperature, and pump it to Oberlin’s 80 buildings to be used for heating and cooling.

The project replaces the college’s current heat source, which is natural gas. It supplants the old steam system used on campus, which in recent years has experienced increasing leaks, and moves Oberlin College closer to its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2025.

Certification by the Climate Bonds Initiative will allow the college to realize “significant savings in borrowing costs, compared to both traditional financing and other green bonds on the market,” it said in a statement.


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Randy in Arizona | August 6, 2021 at 12:21 pm

And how much electricity is it going to take to pump all this water?
Are these wells going to be closed loops or are they going to deplete the aquifer?
If they are closed loops what will protect the aquifer from contamination if they leak?
Seems to me this is as poorly thought out as the Gibson’s Bakery boycott.
Super-insulation of the school buildings would probably save them more money.

    henrybowman in reply to Randy in Arizona. | August 6, 2021 at 2:32 pm

    Closed loop. And since the transfer medium is nothing but common water, there’s no contamination risk. Geothermal heat pumps are decades-old technology. We looked into them in Arizona in 2000, but they’re expensive to retrofit to old construction. Way easier to do all the required digging before the house is built.

While they’re at it, maybe they can sell $30 million or so of “Pay the Gibsons What We Owe Them for Defaming Them” bonds.

I hope they default after paying the Gibsons. It would be poetic justice.