University Makes Largest Purchase of Wind Energy in U.S.

The largest single retail purchase of wind energy in the United States has been made by a university in Pennsylvania.

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania, US, 2001-06-15 [] The largest single retail purchase of wind energy in the United States has been made by a university in Pennsylvania. Carnegie Mellon will buy 5 percent of its total electricity from new wind power that is generated in the western part of the state. The power will be equivalent to the electricity consumed by 650 homes and is part of the university’s commitment to clean energy and the environment. “Developing new technologies, policies and practices to protect and enhance our global environment is one of our strategic priorities,” says president Jared Cohon. “Our university is committed to using our research and education programs – as well as our own campus practices – to improve environmental quality, to provide leadership in environmentally sustainable practices and to support the development of wind power generation in western Pennsylvania. We hope this effort will become a practical model for other universities and organizations.” The purchase from Community Energy was developed with assistance from Environmental Defense. The wind energy will be generated by 1.5 MW turbines to be installed later this year at the Exelon-Community Energy windfarm at Mill Run, 40 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. The ten turbines comprise the largest windfarm in the eastern part of the country, and Carnegie Mellon will purchase 4,778 MWh, more than the dedicated output of one turbine. “Carnegie Mellon’s commitment to clean energy will protect human health by reducing pollution and help protect the planet from the threat of global warming,” adds Fred Krupp, executive director of Environmental Defense. “The university’s purchase of wind power sends the clear signal that clean, renewable energy is a viable resource that will help reduce dependence on fossil fuels.” The purchase of wind energy will eliminate the emission of 13 tons of nitrogen oxides each year compared with a coal-fired generating plant, as well as 35 tons of sulfur dioxide, 5,100 tons of carbon dioxide and 0.18 pounds of mercury. The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is the same as planting 19,000 acres of trees or removing 1,000 cars from the road. “By making the largest retail wind purchase ever, Carnegie Mellon University is leading the way for all of us,” adds Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy. “With the current attention on an impending energy crisis, it is both satisfying and responsible to use energy that generates no pollution and uses no fuel. Carnegie Mellon’s decision to buy locally generated wind energy makes a contribution locally and globally. I can think of no better environmental commitment than for the university to power its laboratories and classrooms with pollution-free electricity.” “Once again, Carnegie Mellon has shown leadership in its commitment to the community, our state and the health of our people and the planet,” adds John Hanger of the Mid-Atlantic Renewable Energy Coalition. “More important, the university’s actions show that doing right by the environment is also a good business decision.” Community Energy was formed in 1999 to market renewable electricity, and is working with Exelon Power Team and wind developers to bring 70 MW of new wind power on-line, which will triple the amount of wind energy in the eastern U.S. Carnegie Mellon is a national research university with 7,500 students and 3,000 faculty and staff in Pittsburgh. It was founded in 1900 by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.
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