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Luther College wins another renewable energy recognition

Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, was one of 21 Iowa organizations and businesses presented with an Environmental Excellence award by Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad on June 27 in Des Moines. The college was awarded Special Recognition in Energy Efficiency/Renewable Energy for its work in the field of solar energy.

The Luther College Solar project, the largest single solar energy production facility in Iowa, went on line in August 2012 and was dedicated in October 2012. The field of 1,250 solar panels powers Baker Village, an all-electric student housing complex that utilizes geothermal energy for heating and cooling. This project is part of Luther’s zero-carbon-footprint goal.

The college has committed to reducing its campus carbon footprint 50 percent by the end of 2015 and 70 percent by 2020, and to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. Through investments in energy efficiency projects, the installation of a 1.6-megawatt wind turbine, the use of biofuels and electric cars, serving local foods in its cafeteria (estimated at 30 percent this year), and numerous other environmental initiatives, Luther has reduced its carbon footprint by 33 percent.

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