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SXU using “Clean Source” energy to power new green residence hall

Renewable energy to power O’Brien Hall for next two years

Chicago (Sept. 30, 2008) Saint Xavier University has purchased 1.2 million kilowatt-hours of “Clean Source” alternative energy over the next two years to power a new eco-friendly student residence hall. 

The “Clean Source” energy used in the soon to be dedicated Mother Agatha O’Brien Hall will prevent the emission of more than 817,000 pounds of CO2. This is the equivalent of not burning about 755,000 pounds of coal, not driving about 1.78 million miles, or planting about 6,700 mature trees. 

The energy comes from Renewable Choice Energy’s Green-e program and is managed by the nonprofit Center for Solutions. SXU purchased the energy in accord with the College and University Presidents Climate Commitment to reduce CO2 emissions on campus and utilize alternative energy resources. Saint Xavier was the first university in the city of Chicago to sign the Climate Commitment. 

SXU’s clean energy producers include: The New Hope Power Partnership, a biomass cogeneration facility; Belleville Hydroelectric, a run of river operation that does not obstruct fish migration; Elk River Wind Farm, which contains 100 General Electric wind turbines; and the Mass Hill Wind Farm that uses 28 General Electric wind turbines. 

In an Oct. 15 ceremony, the University will officially name the building after Mother Mary Agatha O’Brien, one of the founding Chicago Sisters of mercy to travel here from Ireland in 1846. 

The residence hall was built to LEED Gold Environmental Standards as set forth by the U.S. Green Building Council. Last year, SXU’s Arthur Rubloff Hall became the first university building in the state of Illinois to receive the coveted LEED Gold designation from the U.S. Green Building Council for environmentally friendly design elements. 

A leader in green practices, Saint Xavier is a member of the Illinois Sustainable University Compact, which has pledged to accomplish multiple environmentally sound goals by Dec. 31, 2010. These goals include energy purchases from renewable sources, reduced carbon emissions, and requiring green building practices for all new construction. More recently, SXU became the first Chicago university to sign the Presidents Climate Commitment, a consortium of 557 other schools nationwide that have pledged to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. 


Contact: Rick Ducat 
773-298-3325 or ducat@sxu.edu