Docents ready to lead new central energy facility tours

Tour of the central energy facility
Ron Gawer, director of energy operations, leads a tour for Land, Buildings and Real Estate staff members training to be docents for the new central energy facility. (Photo: Kate Chesley)

RON GAWER, director of energy operations, recently led a tour for members of the Office of Sustainability and Energy Management who are training to become docents for the new central energy facility. The office is a department within Land, Buildings and Real Estate.

The new facility, debuting in April, is the most visible symbol of Stanford Energy System Innovations (SESI)—the new campus energy system that will cut greenhouse gas emissions by a stunning 80 percent. The central energy facility is located on the far western edge of campus, off Searsville Road.

FAHMIDA AHMED, director of the Office of Sustainability, said SESI is drawing attention worldwide, with an abundance of visitors already eager to learn more about Stanford’s innovative approach. The new docents will be available to lead the tours that Ahmed expects to grow exponentially after the central energy facility opens and word of Stanford’s accomplishments begins to spread. Requests, she said, are already coming in from companies to teachers to government officials.

Training is tough. Docents must memorize a packet of materials explaining how SESI has raised the bar in energy efficiency through the use of innovative, clear and renewable energy supplies. They must attend a two-hour training session and give a “test tour” to ensure their expertise.

Read more about SESI.