Red Deer Polytechnic 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 organization'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 Red Deer Polytechnic's overall carbon footprint.
Red Deer Polytechnic has an impressive array of 4,200 photovoltaic solar panels on its main campus buildings, which helps decrease the demand for external energy. More than 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 the Polytechnic through a 1 MW combined heat and power (CHP) unit, which was fabricated at Red Deer’s Collicutt Energy. The institution is also expanding its use of LED lighting, which adds more efficiency.
Red Deer Polytechnic aims to become a net zero institution, producing enough energy on main campus to power its infrastructure. While significant strides have been made, the organization is exploring opportunities for further alternative energy growth.
Learn more about Red Deer Polytechnic's overarching Campus Land Use Master Plan.