Catholic University’s New Wind Power Project

The Catholic University of America has signed a long-term contract to purchase electricity generated at a wind energy center that is currently under construction in West Virginia.

Washington, D.C. – August 22, 2002 [] Through a supply agreement with Washington Gas Energy Services, 12 percent of the Washington, D.C., university’s annual electricity requirements will be generated by clean, renewable wind energy for five years. The contract represents the largest percentage commitment to wind power by any university in the nation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. “We are committed to improving the environment through the use of green technologies such as cost-efficient wind power,” said The Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of Catholic University. “And we hope our students reap the additional benefits of greater awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship.” Washington Gas Energy Services arranged Catholic University’s US$72,000 annual supply contract in conjunction with Community Energy, Inc., of Pennsylvania. CEI was founded by national leaders in energy marketing to expand the market for clean electric supply. WGES and CEI are launching a campaign to offer renewable, wind-generated power to institutions, businesses and consumers throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region. “We are very excited that Catholic University is adding renewable energy to its supply portfolio,” said Harry Warren, president of Washington Gas Energy Services. “The cost of electricity from this nearby wind power site is close to that of conventional, fossil-fueled power. Emissions-free, fuel-free wind energy allows businesses, institutions and consumers to help our regional air quality, while expanding energy resources to meet the region’s long-term energy needs.” The Exelon Community Energy Mountaineer Wind Energy Center is being constructed on Backbone Mountain near Thomas, West Virginia. It will be the largest wind power project ever built in the eastern United States. The site will include 44 wind turbines producing a total of 66 megawatts, the equivalent electric needs of 22,000 homes. Catholic University will purchase the entire output of one of the Mountaineer facility’s 1.5 MW wind turbines when construction is completed in December 2002.

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