Epa Recognizes Colorado State University’s Student Wind Power Program

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Colorado State University’s Housing and Dining Services as an EPA Green Power Partner for the significant student enrollment in its voluntary, on-campus residence wind-power program. For the fall campaign, enrollments in the wind-power program increased 50 percent, bringing the total number of students buying wind power to 298. Last year, the fall campaign generated 198 sign-ups from students.

The 298 students purchasing wind power translates into nearly 547,000 kilowatt hours of green power being purchased collectively by students for the university on an annual basis. The purchase represents about 4 percent of Colorado State’s Housing and Dining Services annual electrical usage.

In 2004, Colorado State became one of the first schools in the country to offer students the option of purchasing wind power for their on-campus residences. Associated Students of Colorado State University, the student governing body, passed the initiative, which is sponsored by the university’s Housing and Dining Services and Facilities Management. Through the program, Colorado State students can purchase wind power from the city of Fort Collins for their residence hall room or campus apartment.

Wind power costs slightly more than traditional fossil fuel-based electricity, which means a small fee of $17 per year for a residence hall student and $52 for apartment students to enroll in the wind power program. Each student wind-power purchase represents 1,600 kilowatt hours of green power, which represents the electricity used in the average dorm room on campus. Since the program began in 2004, over 700 students have signed up to purchase wind power.

"Housing and Dining Services is committed to sustainability," said Jim Dolak, executive director of Colorado State’s Housing and Dining Services. "Through innovative programs and outreach initiatives, we work to reduce waste, preserve natural resources and support environmentally friendly building and purchasing practices."

"Green power" is defined as electricity that is partially or entirely generated from environmentally preferable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydro resources. Renewable energy sources are cleaner than conventional sources of electricity that produce carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas linked to global climate change. Green power purchases help accelerate the development of new renewable energy capacity nationwide.

Based on national average emissions rates, the EPA estimates that Colorado State’s purchase of 547,000 kWh is equivalent to keeping more than 760,000 thousand pounds of CO2 from entering the Earth’s atmosphere over the next year. This amount of CO2 emissions is equivalent to eliminating CO2 emissions associated with the use of nearly 40,000 gallons of gasoline annually.

Enrollments for the fall wind power campaign closed on Sept. 15, but Colorado State will be offering the wind power option to students again in the spring. Sign-ups will start Jan. 22, 2007.

For more information about Colorado State’s on-campus wind power program, visit www.housing.colostate.edu/green.

For more information about the Fort Collins Utilities Wind Power Program, visit www.fcgov.com/utilities/wind-power.php, contact them via phone at (970) 221-6700 (TDD 224-6003) or e-mail at utilities@fcgov.com.

Wind power is just one of Colorado State’s Housing and Dining Services’ sustainability commitments. The department also has launched a biodiesel program that refines used cooking oil from the dining centers, a composting pilot project, and takes part in ReycleMania, a national recycling competition among more than 100 colleges and universities. In 2006, CSU placed 4th in the grand champion competition.

About the U.S. EPA’s Green Power Partnership

EPA’s Green Power Partnership encourages organizations to purchase green power as a way to reduce the risk of climate change and the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Green Power Partnership currently has over 600 partners voluntarily purchasing more than 7 billion kWh of green power. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500 companies, local, state, and federal governments, trade associations and colleges and universities.

For a full listing of the more than 600 EPA Green Power Partners and information about buying green power, see the Partnership’s Web site at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/.

For more information about EPA’s College and University Green Power Challenge, see the Challenge Web site at http://www.epa.gov/greenpower/partners/hi_ed_challenge.htm.