Notre Dame Dedicates New Hydro Facility along St. Joseph River in South Bend

Author: Erin Blasko

The University of Notre Dame dedicated a new hydroelectric facility, ND Hydro, along the St. Joseph River during a ceremony Monday (Sept. 12) in downtown South Bend.

Situated along the riverbed beneath Seitz Park, the 2.5-megawatt facility started generating power for the University in May and has operated at about 70 percent capacity ever since based on spring and summer river levels.

As a source of clean, renewable energy, the state-of-the-art facility will generate an estimated 7 percent of the electricity for campus and offset 9,700 tons of carbon dioxide annually, benefiting both the University and surrounding community.

“Developed in close collaboration with the city of South Bend and other community partners, this facility, powered by the St. Joseph River, is yet another example of Notre Dame’s ongoing commitment to sustainability — specifically, the cultivation of new and innovative sources of clean, renewable energy,” Notre Dame President Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., said. “As the latest in a growing portfolio of green energy projects for Notre Dame, it will help us to achieve the ultimate goal of a carbon neutral campus by 2050.”

The facility is the first in North America to take advantage of new low-cost, modular turbine technology from Voith, a global provider of hydro solutions based in Germany. Along with the new St. Joseph Solar Farm, a joint investment with Indiana Michigan Power, and other clean energy projects, it will further reduce the use of natural gas as a source of energy for campus...

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