On July 25, US EPA released their summer rankings for the top colleges and universities purchasing renewable energy, aka, green power. For the last few years, EPA’s Green Power Partnership has recognized OSU for outstanding purchases of renewable energy, but the highest ranking previously achieved was number 4 in the nation.
Following several years of students’ commitment to purchasing green power on the university’s behalf via a student fee, OSU admin is now taking the lead and putting OSU out in front in a major way. By purchasing renewable energy certificates from Bonneville Environmental Foundation in Portland, OSU makes a statement about the importance of this type of energy – in OSU’s case wind power - in the national electric grid.
A purchase this size reduces about 47,440 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions that would have otherwise been emitted from fossil fuel sources, and equals removing about 9,302 passenger vehicles from the road this year.
Not all of OSU’s renewable energy comes from offsite sources, however. Two small photovoltaic systems also provide some power to the Corvallis campus. The OSU Solar Trailer is one of those, a unique mobile power device that when not supplying renewable energy to an event, is at home base connected to the electricity grid at OSU’s Student Sustainability Center. The other system is a 2,400 watt system mounted on the roof of the Kelley Engineering Center.
Additional solar projects are in the works for 2011-2012. One is a large solar hot water system on Dixon Recreation Center that will heat pool and domestic hot water for this high-use facility. Others include planned photovoltaic installations on several farm buildings.