Western University receives over $11M to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on campus

Western Univerity is taking an important step toward transitioning it's campus away from fossil fuels with the help of a $11.6 million provincial grant. Jake Jeffrey / 980 CFPL

A boost from the provincial government is helping Western University move towards a greener campus.

Officials say Western has received $11.6 million in provincial grants to help with the university’s efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning its campus away from fossil fuels.

The grants were funded through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

A Western media release said the funds will allow the university to recover waste heat from its power plant and use it in other buildings, while shifting from steam to low-temperature heating systems in the Spencer Engineering building and the Claudette MacKay-Lassonde Pavillion.

The proposed upgrades have the potential to reduce the amount of steam required for heating and improve efficiencies in Western’s central power plant, which will reduce the amount of natural gas used for generating steam and chilled water, officials said.

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The release states that the environmental investments will result in a 12 per cent reduction in emissions from 2016 levels, with an estimated cost savings of $1.5 million annually.

Western’s grant is one of eight provincially funded projects that demonstrates innovative plans and approaches to increase campus sustainability and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while also supporting strategic institutional priorities.

A total of $85.2 million was available to all Ontario universities and administered through a competitive application process.

Construction at the Spencer Engineering Building will begin in July and will be completed in March 2019.

Western will celebrate the project announcement on April 3 at the Innovation and Impact Symposium event.

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