Renewable energy generation and procurement will play a significant role in Western's carbon reduction strategy. The Amit Chakma Engineering Building has a 120kW solar photovoltaic (PV) array to offset the building's electricity needs.

Western is currently exploring additional renewable energy generation opportunities on campus. There is a geothermal feasibility study underway to determine whether large-scale geothermal is a viable option to implement at Western. Feasibility studies for solar on existing buildings, wastewater heat recovery and renewable natural gas will also be conducted in the future. All new construction and major renovation projects are assessed for solar and geothermal potential.

The Ronald D. Schmeichel Building for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is designed with a goal of becoming Western's first net-zero energy building. The design incorporates a number of energy performance features including geothermal (ground-source) heating and cooling, natural lighting, triple-glazed windows and a green roof. In addition, the building will be connected to Western's energy loop, which shares excess heat between buildings.

Solar Power Generation

Through its investments into LEED®-certified buildings, Western also uses solar power generation. The Amit Chakma Engineering Building is a great example: its design is a living lab for students to learn about sustainable energy systems, as the building boasts an impressive solar array which offsets the building's electricity needs.