Wind Picks up at the University of Buffalo

Lt. Governor Mary Donohue has praised the University at Buffalo (UB) for its commitment to become the state’s largest purchaser of wind generated electricity. The university was the first campus in the State University of New York (SUNY) system to purchase a portion of its power from a commercial supplier of wind-generated electricity.

Buffalo, New York – March 24, 2003 [] “UB has proven over the years that it is one of the country’s leading academic institutions,” said Donohue. “Today we stand here to praise it for not just teaching about environmental responsibility, but for practicing it. UB’s commitment to the use of Renewable Energy sends a tremendous message to the student body, the community and the state that our actions make a difference. The leadership that UB is demonstrating is what we need to achieve the state’s energy security and environmental goals.” Donohue also praised UB for its aggressive efforts in implementing the provisions of Executive Order No. 111, which Gov. George Pataki issued in June 2001 and that directs state agencies, authorities, SUNY, and other entities to be more energy efficient and environmentally aware. It established guidelines for improving efficiency, reducing energy consumption by 35 percent by 2010 relative to 1990 levels, procuring energy efficient products and procurement of alternative-fueled vehicles. It also set energy efficiency standards for new buildings and renovations and established requirements for increasing the purchase of renewable power. UB became the first campus in the SUNY system to buy a portion of its electrical power from a commercial supplier of wind-generated electricity in 2002 through the purchase of 1.5 MW from the Fenner Wind Farm in Madison County. The 2003 purchase agreement with Community Energy, Inc. is for about half of the output of the entire Wethersfield Wind Farm in Wyoming County and UB’s 2004 purchase will be for the output of three 1.5 MW wind turbines from the Fenner Wind Farm. “As the state’s largest and most comprehensive public research institution, UB has historically been very aggressive on energy conservation and sustainability issues through many different university initiatives — we see it as a natural outgrowth of our larger public mission,” said UB President William R. Greiner. “Under the governor’s leadership, Executive Order 111 and the newly introduced Renewable Portfolio Standard have created an environment that has empowered UB to become the largest purchaser of wind-generated electricity in New York State — setting an example, we hope, for both the public and private sectors.” According to UB Provost Elizabeth D. Capaldi, UB’s energy-conservation program is nationally recognized and credited with saving more than US$9 million in energy costs annually. “With this purchase of wind power, UB is taking a bold and important step into a future where sustainable sources of energy will not just be desirable, but critical,” said Capaldi.” Commercial wind power supplier Community Energy is providing its New Wind Energy product with marketing support from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and its Green Marketing Program, a component of its New York Energy $martSM Program. UB was first contacted by representatives of the western New York division of New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG). NYSEG voluntarily started New York State’s first green power program in August 2002 as a Community Energy marketing partner. Under the Governor’s Executive Order, state agencies are required to meet 10 percent of their electrical needs with environmentally friendly green power generated from renewable sources like biomass, wind and solar by 2005. The percentage will increase to 20 percent by 2010. In terms of future wind capacity, the governor said NYSERDA has announced new awards of US$17 million to support five new wind projects that would increase the number of wind projects in New York from three to eight, and the installed capacity from about 50 MW to about 365 MW. UB began on Jan. 1 paying a small premium to procure 8 million kWh of clean green power from the Wethersfield site in Wyoming County, one of the first wind farms in New York State. In 2004, the university will purchase 12 million kWh of wind from the Fenner Wind Power Project, located in the Town of Fenner in Madison County in Central New York. The Fenner project operates 20, 1.5 MW wind-driven generators connected to the New York power grid. In 2003, five of the 150-foot-tall Wethersfield Wind Turbines will be designated as the “University at Buffalo Wind Turbines,” while in 2004, three of the larger 300-foot-tall, 1.5 MW Fenner wind generators will be designated to UB. The monthly output of one of Fenner’s wind turbines is equivalent to approximately 330,000 kWh of electricity, enough to power approximately 500 homes.
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