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Sustainability Program

Clean and Renewable Energy

Improving resilience with campus energy infrastructure

Argonne places a high priority on clean and renewable energy. We’ve made substantial investments on-site to harvest solar, wind and geothermal energy.

Being an advocate of clean and renewable energy is consistent with our commitment to sustainable practices and to being a responsible member of our community. By 2025, we are planning for 25% of total electric and thermal energy to come from renewable and alternative energy and that 30% of total electric energy will be accounted for by renewable sources.

We continue to investigate additional electric and thermal clean energy and renewable energy sources, as well as purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to account for the balance of electric, thermal and renewable clean energy needs. Here are just a few of our renewable energy efforts:

  • Solar – A 109-kW solar array produces power and allows research programs to study the performance of multiple PV panel types in Midwest conditions. Four smaller grid-integrated solar arrays provide power for electric vehicle charging and data for research on power grid interoperability.
     
  • Wind – One 10-kW wind turbine provides power and the ability to research regional application of small wind turbine installations.
     
  • Geothermal – Building 224, Argonne’s Visitor Information Center, is home to a 23-ton geothermal heat pump system that provides thermal control for the facility with minimal required makeup power.
     
  • Combined Heat and Power – Argonne’s Combined Heat and Power plant produces 20% of base electricity use and 80% of steam for the site, saving energy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and creating a secure energy source for part of the site’s power needs.
     
  • Renewable Energy Credits – We purchase Green-E Certified RECs to meet the renewable energy goals beyond the capabilities of on-site generation.