Energy-Related Initiatives

Purdue University is focused on achieving the optimum energy efficiency across campus. Its comprehensive Energy Master Plan has identified many goals for energy reduction and cost savings, both over the long term and in the short term. In addition, initiatives such as the Wade Power Plant upgrade are already reducing Purdue's energy usage.

Along with saving energy here at Purdue, there is research going on in the Purdue Research Park by the Global Sustainability Initiative, in order to improve energy usage everywhere. To learn more about how Energy conservation is being affected and improved, read on about Friday Night Lights, the Energy Master Plan, and the Wade Power Plant:

Friday Night Lights:

Friday Night Lights is a volunteer program created to reduce energy waste from lights being left on over the weekend across campus. Volunteers spend an hour going from room to room in the larger and potentially more impactful buildings on campus including. In their first season beginning in October of 2013, Friday Night Lights engaged 242 volunteers over 8 weeks and turned off 15,320 light bulbs. For the 2014 Spring Semester, 296 volunteers turned off 23,473 light bulbs over 15 weeks to make a total of 38,793 lights that were kept from unnecessarily wasting energy for the entire weekend.

Friday Night Lights is a great program that reduces energy waste, saves Purdue University money, and engages the community in working toward sustainability. 

View the full report for the 2013-2014 season

Volunteer to help save energy and get a free burrito in the process by clicking here!

Energy Master Plan:

Acknowledging the need to identify and meet the long-term energy needs on the West Lafayette Campus over the coming years, in February 2011, the Purdue University Board of Trustees approved a resolution to develop a Comprehensive Energy Master Plan (CEMP). The resultant CEMP, submitted to the Physical Facilities Committee of the Board of Trustees in early 2012, focuses especially on the energy production, distribution and building demand on Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus.

The fiscally and environmentally responsible plan provides Purdue University guidance in managing its energy production and consumption as it continues to grow. The CEMP constitutes a “living document” that will be revisited and updated over the years, in response to shifting local and global factors.

To view the full text of the Comprehensive Energy Master Plan, contact Energy and Construction at (765) 494-5693.

Wade Power Plant:

By utilizing cogeneration, Purdue’s Wade Utility Plant operates in a manner that maximizes efficiency. The plant uses three natural gas boilers along with one coal burning boiler. The coal burning boiler is maintained so that it will be flexible in its use, being able to burn alternative fuels, such as biomass, and other fuels.

The Wade Utility Plant meets 100% of the West Lafayette campus’s demand for heat by producing and distributing steam, while also co-generating approximately 50% of the electricity the campus uses each year and enough chilled water to cool the majority of campus. This co-generated electricity represents significant cost avoidance and a reduced environmental footprint, as it does not have to be purchased from the grid. Wade’s co-generation process utilizes the same steam that is produced to heat buildings to also produce electricity and drive chillers. Subsequently, cogeneration allows Wade to operate more efficiently than a standard plant that only generates electricity. 

Moreover, several upgrades are presently underway at the Wade Utility Plant that will further reduce the university’s dependence on coal and help it switch to natural gas.