The University recently announced that it will be furthering its commitment to environmental sustainability by entering into a multi-year renewable electric energy agreement with ENGIE Resources, LLC.
The agreement, which was designed and executed by the University’s independent energy consultant, Evolution Energy Partners, is a reflection of Villanova’s ongoing commitment to achieving carbon neutrality on its campus by 2050.
“Taking this step is yet another way in which Villanova can positively affect change and affirm its commitment to sustainability,” University President Rev. Peter M. Donohue, O.S.A., Ph.D said. “Purchasing renewable energy and exploring other innovative ways to make our campus more sustainable is one way we will help mitigate and adapt to a changing climate for a more prosperous future.”
Fifty percent of the approximately 52,000 MWh of power the University purchases through ENGIE will be sourced regionally from the Holtwood Hydroelectric Power Plant, owned by Brookfield Renewable, a global leader in renewable energy.
The power will serve Main Campus, West Campus, South Campus and The Inn at Villanova University. The hydroelectric power added by the University through this agreement is a renewable and affordable source of energy, as it uses just the movement of water to generate electricity. Hydropower is also able to support the integration of high levels of intermittent wind- and solar-powered generation onto the electric system. This helps to achieve a resilient, reliable and clean-energy grid of the future.
“We are excited about this new renewable energy agreement, as it allows a significant portion of the University’s electricity to come from renewable sources,” Vice President for Facilities Management Robert Morro said. “This is the most significant step to date in our climate action plan towards reducing our carbon footprint.”
This agreement exemplifies Villanova’s continued commitment to environmental sustainability. In 2007, Donohue signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment, committing to carbon neutrality by 2050. In 2014, he signed the St. Francis Pledge, recommitting Villanova to living out the vision of Pope Francis's encyclical, Laudato Si': On Care for Our Common Home. Donohue also established a Sustainability Leadership Council charged with developing an actionable and measurable plan to guide the University’s sustainability efforts.