Alternative Energy Initiative
Red Deer College is Committed to Innovation
The Red Deer College Alternative Energy Initiative promotes environmental stewardship through the application of sustainable and energy efficient technologies to reduce energy consumption. The initiative is part of RDC's larger, future-focused Green Energy Master Plan, which works to incorporate and develop alternative energy systems that will provide learning and innovation opportunities for students, industry, and community partners while working also to reduce the College's overall carbon footprint.
Across RDC’s main campus, 4,200 solar panels have been installed, creating the largest post-secondary institutional solar array in Canada. As the College’s alternative energy production increases, RDC’s leaders have challenged themselves to create a carbon neutral institution, where all of the energy that main campus requires to power its buildings and infrastructure from sustainable sources.
Three Components of the Alternative Energy Initiative
Generation of Alternative Energy: several facilities on the RDC main campus will have solar (photo-voltaic) panels installed, including the new Residence, the Alternative Energy Lab and the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris. By early 2019, 4,190 panels will be installed across main campus in a range of conventional and non-conventional configurations, supporting learning about energy production and efficiency. In addition, a Combined Heat and Power Unit has been created to produce heat (hot water) to generate electricity. The heat that otherwise would have been wasted is tied into the existing hot water distribution system and is used for space heating in various locations of the main campus.
Alternative Energy Lab: RDC's new Alternative Energy Lab, which officially opened in February 2019, serves as a teaching, research, and data hub to increase knowledge and awareness about alternative energy technologies for students, industry, and researchers.
Continuing Conservation: RDC is converting significant portions of the campus to LED lighting.
Part of a Larger Picture
The Alternative Energy Initiative is possible through a Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund grant with matching investment by RDC, and it supports the Government of Canada's climate change objectives by encouraging sustainable and green infrastructure projects. This funding was announced on January 20, 2017, and complete details are available in the media release.