Conestoga has received a Community Environmental Fund Sustainability Grant from Waterloo Region that will help support the installation of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at the college’s Doon and Waterloo campuses.
Established in 2011, the fund assists community members and organizations carry out projects that promote environmental sustainability, and protect and enhance our natural environment.
Tony Sasso, manager, Utilities Sustainability & Facilities Information Systems, said the goal of the installation is to reduce Conestoga’s emissions and promote cleaner air and energy independence.
“One of the concerns for EV drivers is the distance vehicles can be driven before having to recharge - it’s commonly referred to as range anxiety. Through the support of the $14,500 grant we received, we are pleased to offer our students, employees and community members peace of mind knowing their vehicles can be recharged on campus,” said Sasso.
He added that the college will determine the success of the project by installing an advanced network system with cloud-based software to track activity, which will allow the generation of custom reports. If data drawn from the reports indicates utilization of the EV charging stations is positive, the plan is to increase or install EV stations at other campuses.
“The initial installations will serve as beta sites. To signal our role as environmental leaders in the community, it’s our overall goal to have four electric vehicle charging stations at every campus so that we can serve current and future EV owners.”
Sasso expects the installation of three charging stations at Doon will be complete by mid-May. Another two will also be installed at the Waterloo campus.
Conestoga’s commitment to the principles of environmental sustainability and energy efficiency continues to be demonstrated across all new campus construction and renovation projects.
A recent major expansion at the Waterloo campus included features such as solar photovoltaic cells, chilled water storage, LED lighting and low-flow water fixtures.
Earlier this year, 1,800 solar panels capable of generating 500 kilowatts of power, and a 240-ton geothermal heat pump were installed at the college’s Fountain Street campus.
A recent multi-million dollar renovation to the exterior façade of the Guelph campus is also part of the college’s ongoing energy initiatives.