Skip to main content

Solar panels to provide 10% of energy needs

Westerlin Residence Center

Solar panels atop Westerlin Residence Center

Augustana Magazine — Fall 2021

Augustana has installed 3,500 solar panels in the past year, after a student-initiated task force recommended the project to reduce the college’s carbon footprint.

College leaders expect the panels to save $35,000-$40,000 a year in energy costs and provide 10% of energy needs for the campus. Solar panels have been installed on the roofs of the Carver P.E. Center, Centennial Hall, Westerlin Residence Center and PepsiCo Recreation Center.

Other sustainability efforts from the past year include:

• $300,000 in roof upgrades, moving to more reflective material that keeps buildings cooler and lessens demand on HVAC systems

• Geography’s Dr. Reuben Heine and his students using drones to gather data to inform decisions on current building updates and future capital projects

• Reclaiming more green space on campus for native prairie plantings that will help pollinators thrive, and using smart irrigation to reduce water usage.

Upcoming plans call for transitioning to more electric work vehicles on campus and installing solar panels on the new Peter J. Lindberg, M.D., Center for Health and Human Performance.