RDC celebrates groundbreaking for Alternative Energy Lab

Date posted: 
Wed, 08/09/2017
RDC Alternative Energy Groundbreaking

New facility represents sustainable future for College

Red Deer College took an important step towards an exciting future of alternative energy and innovation today, with the official groundbreaking for the new Alternative Energy Lab.

The lab will be utilized for teaching, demonstration and applied research related to alternative energy opportunities. “The Alternative Energy Lab will be an innovative learning space that will give RDC students hands-on experiences to build familiarity and confidence with alternative energy systems,” says Joel Ward, RDC President & CEO. “Over 1,000 RDC students will benefit from the lab each year, especially those in the fields of Engineering Technology, Electrician, Instrumentation Technician and Carpentry.”

Construction on the Alternative Energy Lab will begin immediately, with an anticipated completion of April 2018. Once the facility is operational, RDC will also use the space to engage and support central Alberta businesses wanting to explore alternative energy production options.

“This lab will serve as a data hub to increase knowledge and awareness for industry, consumers and researchers,” says Jim Brinkhurst, Vice President of College Services. “The intention is for it be recognized as an impartial resource for alternative energy information relevant to central Alberta, while also providing a venue for advanced industry training and applied research on new technologies.”

The new lab is one of three key components of RDC’s Alternative Energy Initiative, which promotes environmental stewardship through the application of sustainable and energy efficient technologies. The initiative is possible because of the Government of Canada’s Post-Secondary Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) grant, with matching investment by Red Deer College.

In addition to the new lab, the Alternative Energy Initiative includes generating alternative energy on main campus through solar panels and a Combined Heat and Power unit, and continuing RDC’s ongoing energy conservation strategy with the conversion of all exterior lighting to LED lighting.

The three components of the RDC Alternative Energy Initiative will create and save approximately 9,340 megawatt hours per year, offsetting current campus electricity usage by an estimated 67%. This would be the equivalent of the energy required to power 1,300 average Alberta homes – or the equivalent of removing 1,100 cars off the road annually.

“The Alternative Energy Initiative and the lab that we’re celebrating today are all part of our future-focused Green Energy Master Plan,” says Ward. “Through our actions today and our planning for tomorrow, we are providing learning opportunities for students, connecting with industry and research partners and reducing RDC’s carbon footprint. Plus, we will be helping our region and our province to diversify its economy by developing new industries and technologies that explore alternative energy options.”

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Photo caption: (l-r) Morris Flewwelling, RDC Board Chair; Barb Miller, MLA for Red Deer-South; Kim Schreiner, MLA for Red Deer-North; Joel Ward, RDC President & CEO; Earl Dreeshen, MP for Red Deer-Mountain View; James Wood, Mayor, Red Deer County; and Brian Lacey, Senior Vice President of Energy and Resources with Clark Builders.


For additional information contact:

Shelley Newman
Communications Strategist – Corporate

Erin Forbes
Communications Strategist – Corporate