(Austin Community College)

Austin Community College now uses 100% renewable energy at two of its 11 campuses, including ACC Elgin, shown here.

Austin Community College is now the first community college district in Texas to use 100% clean, renewable energy at two of its campuses, in Round Rock and Elgin.


"By moving two of its campuses completely off of fossil fuels, ACC is significantly reducing its carbon footprint and helping ensure a safe, more livable climate for our community," Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger said in a press release issued Tuesday.

ACC began its efforts to convert to wind and solar power earlier this summer and plans to implement 100% renewable energy at its nine other Central Texas campuses.

The district is also working toward a goal of becoming zero waste by 2040 and achieving climate neutrality by 2050.

"ACC is committed to becoming a leader in sustainability," Chancellor Dr. Richard Rhodes said in the same release. "That means using less energy and fewer resources while minimizing waste.

Its board of trustees created a blueprint for district-wide sustainability in 2009 and began charging $1 per semester per credit hour sustainability fee in 2010, which generates around $750,000 a year to fund green initiatives.

Other green initiatives at the district include reclaiming rainwater and AC condensation; green transportation programs, such as preferring parking for fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles; and the introduction of a sustainability dashboard, which displays electricity usage, solar energy production and other consumption data.

(Eva Rinaldi/Creative Commons)

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