University of Guelph’s First Wind-Powered Building

The Bullring is one of the oldest buildings on the University of Guelph campus in Ontario, but it is the first to be entirely powered by wind energy credits.

The unique round red brick building was once used to show livestock at the Agricultural college. Today, the outside of the building looks much the same, but instead of showing cows inside, the Bullring is home to live music, events and students drinking lots of coffee. This year, there’s another big change at the Bullring – it’s using 100% wind power for all of its electricity requirements. The University’s Central Students’ Association (CSA) owns the Bullring and, during their annual referendum, they asked students if they were willing to contribute 15 cents per semester to purchase enough “Selectwind”, marketed by the power company Selectpower, to power the building. The Guelph Students for Environmental Change (GSEC) is one of the campus clubs recognized by the CSA. GSEC campaigned for weeks encouraging students to participate in the referendum, and urged them to choose wind energy for the popular campus coffee house. “It’s important that we raise awareness about energy consumption on campus, and that we choose forms of energy that are clean and renewable.” said GSEC representative Jennie McDowell. “73% of the students who voted said ‘yes’ to purchase Selectwind for the Bullring. We’ll even have some money left over to improve the energy-efficiency in the building.” The wind power credits replace coal-generated electricity in Ontario’s power grid. Using coal to generate the 86,400 kWh of electricity that the Bullring uses each year would result in 76.8 tons of Carbon Dioxide, 527 kg of Sulphur Dioxide, and 302 kg of Nitrogen Oxide.
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