A recently completed project at Conestoga’s Fountain Street campus in Cambridge is another major step forward in the college’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for a more sustainable future.
The 500 kW solar voltaic system project is expected to generate close to 800 MWh of clean power each year, reducing demand and emissions from Ontario’s natural gas-fired power plants.
Combined with a recently installed geothermal ground-source heat pump project, the initiative will eliminate 90 per cent of GHG emissions at the campus and represents a significant step towards Conestoga’s campus-wide “Moving to Net Zero Roadmap” plan, which targets an 80 per cent reduction of its 2015 emissions by 2050.
The solar project will power the geothermal heat pump, which replaces traditional heating and cooling equipment such as gas-fired boilers, hot water heating systems, chillers and cooling towers.
“We are excited to see our Cambridge campus solar project commissioned as we head into the spring,” said Tim Schill, senior director of Facilities at Conestoga. “This installation, along with the on-site geothermal project, is expected to reduce our GHG emissions by almost 400 tonnes per year.”
Analysts suggest that the amount of reduced emissions resulting from the project is equivalent to removing 98 cars from the road.
Work on the project was completed by Blackstone Energy Services, a leading energy management company that guides large businesses, municipalities, hospitals and educational institutions on their journey to net-zero consumption.
Funding support was provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
In addition to the Cambridge campus project, Conestoga has undertaken substantial initiatives at campuses in Waterloo and Guelph to reduce emissions as part of recent renovation and modernization projects.
Charging stations for electrical vehicles are also scheduled to be installed at the Waterloo and Doon (Kitchener) campuses later this spring.