Notre Dame opens hydroelectric facility along St. Joseph River
ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - Last month, the University of Notre Dame hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a new 2.5 megawatt, 10-turbine hydroelectric plant under Seitz Park in downtown South Bend.
Notre Dame broke ground on the plant in 2019 as part of a partnership with South Bend's Venues Parks and Arts.
After some pandemic-related delays, it started generating power for the university in May and has been running at around 70% capacity ever since.
Here's how it works: hydropower plants capture the energy of falling water to generate electricity. Then, it's sent to campus through underground lines.
The plant is expected to generate about 7% of the university’s electrical needs and reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 9,700 tons a year.
That puts Notre Dame one step closer to its goal of being a carbon-neutral campus by the year 2050.
The university also gave the city $1 million to help restore Sietz Park, highlighting the Firefighters Memorial, the River Lights Plaza, and the fish ladder.
There will also be a new performance pavilion.