For the past two years, Colorado State University has offered the option of wind power energy to students living on campus, and now the university also is purchasing wind power for individual university buildings.
The university has made a one-year commitment with Xcel Energy to purchase wind power that will be the sole energy source for 20 university buildings this year. Purchasing wind power not only significantly decreases greenhouse gas emissions and illustrates Colorado State’s commitment to support renewable energy, but it also saves the university money.
Colorado State has purchased more than 300,000 kilowatt-hours of wind power for the buildings located on Colorado State campuses throughout the state. By purchasing wind power, the university will save almost $4,700 a year in utility costs and decrease greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 542,000 pounds per year.
The university has investigated wind power alternatives for a number of years, and in 2004, an initiative passed by Associated Students of CSU allowed Colorado State to be the first university in the nation to offer the voluntarily purchase of wind power to students for their residence hall room or university apartment.
The recent increase in natural gas prices has revitalized university efforts to further investigate alternative energy options for the campus community. Through this analysis, the university determined that, in areas served by Xcel Energy, electricity generated from wind energy is currently cheaper than electricity generated by fossil fuels such as natural gas.