PHILADELPHIA Under a new 10-year agreement, the University of Pennsylvania will now purchase 10 percent of its energy needs from wind-generated power, in effect doubling its nation-leading wind-energy purchase to the output from 10 wind turbines.
Penn will purchase 40 million kilowatt hours annually from Community Energy Inc. of Wayne, Pa. This agreement represents the largest retail purchase of wind-generated energy in the nation. The 10-year commitment will also lead to the construction of a new wind farm in Pennsylvania.
We at Penn are pleased to be a national leader in the choice for clean energy and the development of the wind-generated power industry in Pennsylvania, Penn President Judith Rodin said. Through this example of environmental stewardship, we can continue to raise the awareness of our students and the community about alternative fuel options.
Penn became a national leader in the use of renewable energy through its original 2001 agreement to purchase 20 million kilowatt hours of wind-generated power per year for three years. The energy is produced at a wind farm in western Pennsylvania. Although wind-generated power is currently more expensive than that produced by traditional power plants, Penn funded the difference through savings from its aggressive energy-conservation program that reduced peak demand by18 percent.
Penns new 10-year commitment will make it possible for Community Energy and other partners to construct a new wind farm to be situated in the Poconos, just off the Pennsylvania Turnpikes Northeast Extension. The wind farm will consist of 12 turbines and is expected to produce 20 mega watts, 40 percent of which will supply Penns additional purchase.
In September 2002, the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection honored the University for its commitment to alternative energy consumption. The EPA/Department of Energy presented Penn with the Green Power Leadership Award to recognize the quantity of renewable energy purchased, the impact of that purchase and the extent to which the University helped to establish a precedent that others might replicate.
Later that month, Penn also received the 2002 Governors Award for Environmental Excellence, presented each year to the states leaders in innovative green technologies, environmental management and resource protection.