Gov Evers Presents Energy Efficiency Award
On Wed. Sep 8, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers visited Beloit College to present The Powerhouse with a statewide Energy Efficiency Excellence award. Beloit is one of twelve recipients of the accomplishment. The presentation took place outside the ground level. Following the presentation, Evers took part in a tour of The Powerhouse.
The award was given by Focus on Energy, a state program aiming to develop energy efficiency around Wisconsin.
Also in attendance was Wisconsin Public Service Commission Chairperson Rebecca Valcq, Alliant Energy Vice President David de Leon, and President Scott Bierman. Bierman accepted the award on behalf of Beloit College
The coal plant-turned-student union has saved 18 million kilowatt hours of electricity and 1.6 million therms of natural gas through sustainability projects, according to Bierman. The building simultaneously heats and cools through an advanced geothermal water-source heat pump system. The facility uses the Rock River as its energy source. In a Process native to North America, river thermal is mixed with radiant cooling and heating to reduce carbon emissions.
“The folks here at Beloit College early on understood that a focus on sustainability would not only improve the bottom line for the college, but also for the economy, community, and the environment.” said Evers at the press conference.
Designed by Studio Gang Chicago, the project began development in 2011 and cost $38 Million to become a reality. The efforts of community, state, and federal funding allowed The Powerhouse to open in 2020 completely debt-free. The result is a converted power plant that now serves as a student cafe, recreation center, and athletic facility.
This is the college’s first 2021 recognition of the significant contribution to energy efficiency for the building.
“The Powerhouse is where our community gathers, shares meals, takes classes, works out, and where many of our sports teams train. We’re grateful for the support from Governor Evers and other state and local elected officials who have helped make this vision a reality after 10+ years.”, said President Bierman, in an email.
“And we are thrilled that the Powerhouse, now truly at the center of our campus, is being recognized for its focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.”