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Solar Farms
St. Joseph Solar Farm

Solar panels at St. Joseph Solar Farm, formerly part of the property of St. Joseph Farm.

The use of solar energy is one of many project types in the University’s long-range plan to become carbon neutral by 2050. Notre Dame’s commitment can be seen both on and off campus.

Born from the collaboration between Notre Dame and Indiana Michigan Power, the St. Joseph Solar Farm provides power to the Michiana area. The University was a founding participant in the SJSF and helped make the project possible by agreeing to purchase 40% of the annual renewable energy certificates for thirty 30 years.

While the St. Joseph Solar Farm is off campus, solar arrays on campus include the Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering solar panels, Stinson-Remick Hall solar panels, and the Kenmore solar array

In 2023, Notre Dame and the City of South Bend began construction on a 46,000-square-foot solar array on the west side of campus. The West Campus Solar Project will be surrounded by a mix of pollinator-friendly and native plants, yet another example of sustainable infrastructure working harmoniously with the ecosystem.

Efficiency and Educational Benefits
Consisting of nearly 60,000 photovoltaic solar panels, the St. Joseph Solar Farm is I&M's largest solar installation. Able to generate 20 megawatts of clean, renewable energy annually, or enough to power an average of 2,700 homes (more than the company's four other solar facilities combined).

The West Campus Solar project will provide roughly 1% of the electricity for campus while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 600 to 700 tons annually. That’s equivalent to removing between 117 and 137 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles from the road. The panels will produce minimal glare thanks to an anti-reflective coating and traffic along 933 will not be impacted.

These solar projects will also provide educational and research opportunities and encourage economic development for those looking for green energy options to support their vision.

Continuing our Commitment to Sustainability
Notre Dame currently gets about 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources, including the St. Joseph Solar Farm and a newly completed hydroelectric facility. It has three geothermal systems for heating and cooling with a fourth in the works. It also converts a portion of its food waste to energy in collaboration with a local dairy farm. The University stopped burning coal in favor of cleaner-burning natural gas one year ahead of schedule in 2019. All projects aimed at decarbonization are a step closer to the University's goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

Consistent with its Catholic mission and values and Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical on climate change, Notre Dame subscribes to a vision and practice of sustainability that combines care for the natural environment with respect for long-term economic and social justice.