- In 2009 Xcel Energy, a leading provider of energy in eight states, recognized St. Olaf College for its efforts at improving energy efficiency. St. Olaf was included in Xcels “Top Ten” list for having saved 6.91 million kWh the previous year and was ranked No. 1 in natural gas efficiency, with 417,840 therms saved.
- The college employs natural gas fired steam and recently installed a highly efficient (>94%) boiler at the central heating plant, helping to increase year-round efficiency. One measure of successful energy conservation is the fact that St. Olaf Colleges 2008 peak steam flow was equal to the 1988 peak steam flow, even though the college had added 600,000 square feet of new space over that time.
- Every re-roofing project at St. Olaf includes bringing insulation and vapor barriers up to, and in excess of, energy code. All recently purchased appliances are Energy Star-rated.
- In 2005 St. Olaf became the first liberal arts college in the nation to construct a utility-grade wind turbine for the sole purpose of providing energy to the campus (Carleton College was the first to construct a turbine, but the electricity it produces is sold to an energy company and added to the general power grid). St. Olaf College’s 1.65 megawatt self-generating wind turbine directly supplies up to one-third of the electricity used by the college.