Once again, I’m scooped by a TH compadre on this, but it’s awfully good news: New York University has announced it will purchase 118,000,000 KWh of wind power, the equivalent of its annual energy purchase from utility Con Edison. This represents the largest purchase of wind power by a US university, and the 11th largest purchase nationally by any customer. Even better news: this step is only one of many the university plans to take as part of a larger sustainability initiative. Other action items include:
- The creation and filling of a new position, Assistant Vice President for Energy, Engineering & Technical Services. John Bradley was hired in June, 2006 to develop and implement a comprehensive energy strategy that includes cogeneration and alternative energy sources, operation of the University’s cogeneration plant, identification and implementation of energy conservation projects, and development of engineering standards for NYU’s facilities that will improve their energy efficiency and infrastructure reliability.
- NYU’s joining the U.S. Green Buildings Council, which will enable the University to access “best practices” for green building design and incorporate those ideas into strategic planning.
- The establishment of a new environmental studies major.
- Reviewing proposals for NYU’s co-generation plant to increase energy efficiency and reduce emissions significantly below EPA standards
- Reviewing sites for additional bike racks around campus to encourage bicycle commuting
- The hiring of new employees to expand NYU’s recycling program (NYU currently recycles up to 30 percent of its waste stream)
Many schools are making great strides towards greening their campuses and their students’ educational experience; NYU clearly understands that sustainability isn’t just about recycling programs and renewable energy purchases, but involves a rethinking of how the business of education progresses on a regular basis. Perhaps the only bad news comes for our friend Shea — NYU will buy its wind power from Community Energy, Inc.
Thanks to fellow green blogger Amy Stodghill for passing along this news.