Today, the U.S. Department of Energy released its third video in the "Clean Energy in Our Community" video series, highlighting clean energy investments by Allegheny College, located in northwest Pennsylvania. The school's investments in energy efficiency and sustainability, along with its support for clean, renewable fuels, are benefiting residents and workers across Meadville, a town of about 13,000 people. Allegheny is working to reduce its energy waste and deploy clean, renewable energy projects both on its campus and throughout the Meadville community.
"Allegheny College is a great example of how local institutions and communities can help lead the way in making sure that America wins the global clean energy race, while creating good local jobs and protecting the environment," said U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
Allegheny is nationally recognized for its involvement in sustainability initiatives through its membership in the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment and Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
The college has committed to improving its environmental stewardship, including through its on-campus composting facility, which processes between 800 and 900 pounds of food and compostable paper and plastic each day. Students have also collaborated with the City of Meadville to establish a biodiesel production program that collects grease from local restaurants and converts it into biodiesel for the municipal trucking fleet. That program is saving the city $10,000 per year in fuel costs.
Allegheny College is also committed to building highly energy efficient buildings such as the North Village II residence hall, which achieved LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. Energy efficiency retrofits, such as insulation and HVAC improvements, in the campus's many historic buildings, as well as a six-panel solar array on Steffee Hall and two panels on Carr Hall, have helped the college further reduce its annual energy costs. The campus also supports clean renewable energy nationally by purchasing wind generated RECs for 100 percent of its electricity demands.
"We're proud to be featured in the Department of Energy's video series," said Allegheny President James H. Mullen Jr. "Our students have been with us every step of the way as we work to create a campus that values and lives sustainability -- and it is their passion and their commitment to sustainability that inspire our work. Because our students are enthusiastic about putting what they learn in the classroom to work in their communities, they're making a difference not only in Meadville but in hometowns across the nation."
The Energy Department is committed to supporting communities like Meadville as they invest in clean renewable energy that reduces carbon pollution, creates local jobs and helps to drive local economies. The Department's video series is helping connect and feature small communities nationwide that are investing in clean energy and playing a role in making sure the United States leads the world in the global race for green jobs.