Friday, May 19, 2017

Last Day in Montpellier

Today was our last full day in Montpellier. We started the day at the Ametyst Facility, then went to the Montpellier city hall to hear from the Director of Energy and Technilogical Means for the city.
Today was our last full day in Montpellier. We started the day at the Ametyst Facility. At this site, approximately 140,000 tons of garbage per year is brought in from all over the city. It's used to create 33,000 tons of compost per year and decomposed in a process called methanization. Through this process, the facility supplies electricity and heat for residents and businesses in the city of Montpellier and also extracts thousands of tons of steel and aluminum for recycling.


After a quick lunch, we headed to the Montpellier city hall to hear from Michel Irigoin, the Director of Energy and Technilogical Means for the city. During his lecture we learned about the city's efforts to reduce the amount of energy consumed by government facilities. These efforts are focused in several areas that follow the three “negawatt” principles:

  1. Legislating allowable temperature ranges in government buildings (a 1 °C increase in temperature can affect energy use by upwards of 10%)
  2. Retrofitting and designing buildings that incorporate eco-friendly technology such as motion sensors
  3. Investing in future renewable energy technologies.
Additionally, the new city hall building we met in was built in 2011 by the same architect that designed the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Jean Nouvel.


To conclude our final evening in Montpellier, we were treated to a wonderful dinner at a restaurant in an adorable plaza by Francoise, the director of the of the U of M study center here.



One of the guests that joined us was a student who will be studying in CSE in the fall! It was a great way to end our time in the city before catching our high speed train to Paris in the morning!



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