NU partners with leading clean technology integrator to reduce its carbon footprint, create fellowship program


Daily file illustration by Catherine Buchaniec

The initiative will ultimately reduce the university’s energy demand, which will decrease its utility costs.

Waverly Long, Web Editor

Northwestern announced a five-year partnership with leading electric energy corporation Ameresco, Inc., intended to reduce the school’s carbon footprint and provide students with experiential learning opportunities, according to a Tuesday news release.

Through the partnership, NU plans to implement a variety of projects, including lighting upgrades, heating and cooling system optimization and alternative energy systems.

These projects will be funded through the program’s energy savings rather than capital investments. The initiative will ultimately reduce the University’s energy demand, decreasing its utility costs, Craig Johnson, NU’s senior vice president for business and finance, said in the release.

In addition to supporting the University’s development of a more sustainable energy framework, Ameresco will also provide annual funding for a student sustainability fellowship and two paid interns each quarter. The Institute for Sustainability and Energy at Northwestern and sustainNU will oversee the fellowship program.

Holly Benz, director of the Master of Science in Energy and Sustainability program, said fellowship teams will discuss how to apply energy and sustainability concepts to real world problems.

“The sustainability fellowship program will help prepare our students for meaningful careers in the fields of energy management, renewable energy and sustainability,” Benz said in the release.

The program is slated to begin this calendar year and will impact both the Evanston and Chicago campuses.

Lou Maltezos, executive vice president at Ameresco, said he believes the partnership is a “tremendous blueprint” for higher education institutions across the country.

“The energy infrastructure upgrades will not only provide efficiency and cost savings, but will also bolster the sustainability and carbon reduction goals of Northwestern’s campuses,” Maltezos said in the release. “I am delighted to see this partnership help Northwestern reach its future goals.”

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