Red Deer College is a leader environmentally, reducing energy consumption on its campuses while enhancing learning, training and applied research related to alternative energy. The Alternative Energy Initiative is part of the College’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 also working to reduce the College’s overall carbon footprint.
RDC has an impressive array of 4,200 photovoltaic solar panels on its main campus buildings, which helps decrease the demand for external energy. Over 2,500 of these solar panels are on the state-of-the-art Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which received a silver ranking in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The newest Residence has 545 panels and the solar walkway holds an additional 276. The main building and Alternative Energy Lab (AEL) house the remaining solar panels.
In addition to energy conservation, the AEL is a key component of alternative energy education and applied research opportunities for students and businesses. Data from the solar panels’ energy generation can be gathered and analyzed, providing real-world applications for learners.
Electricity is produced at RDC through a 1 MW combined heat and power (CHP) unit, which was fabricated at Red Deer’s Collicutt Energy. The College is also expanding its use of LED lighting, which adds more efficiency.
RDC aims to become a net zero institution, producing enough energy on main campus to power its infrastructure. While significant strides have been made, the College is exploring opportunities for further alternative energy growth.
Learn more about RDC's overarching Campus Land Use Master Plan.