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Pennsylvania Colleges and Universities Are The Force Behind Wind Power

Press release from Community Energy, Inc.
April 18, 2002 - 2:00 P.M.

Harrisburg, PA - With Earth Day around the corner, eight more Pennsylvania colleges and universities announced their ongoing commitment to the environment by purchasing wind-generated electricity from new Pennsylvania wind farms. This brings the total number of PA colleges & universities buying wind power to 25, the most of any state in the country.

Today, Allegheny College, Bucknell University, Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gannon University, Gettysburg College, Juniata College, and Swarthmore College have joined Carnegie Mellon University, Penn State University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the State System of Higher Education in the ranks of PA colleges and universities that have led the way on wind power purchases, by purchasing a portion of their electricity from newly developed wind power projects in southwestern PA. Carnegie Mellon University, whose purchase of wind power in the spring of 2001 helped set an example for others to follow, announced it will expand its historic commitment to wind power. Penn State University also announced it will purchase the output of an additional wind turbine this year. In 2001, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, and Carnegie Mellon University made the three largest retail wind energy purchases in the US, each for 5% of their electric usage.

Community Energy, Inc. (CEI), the wind power marketer, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Consortium for Interdisciplinary Environmental Policy (PCIEP), an organization comprised of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) and the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, along with 41 Pennsylvania colleges and universities, announced the sales today. The PCIEP is dedicated to helping higher education assume its responsibilities in solving the enormous environmental and sustainable development challenges in the 21st Century.

Secretary of the DEP, David E. Hess, said, "Pennsylvania is a leader in the generation, sale and consumption of wind-generated electricity. The expanding commitment of our colleges and universities is just another example of how the Commonwealth is committed to cleaner, greener energy."

"These schools are the leaders," said Brent Alderfer, President of CEI, "By paying a small premium for fuel-free, smoke-free, homegrown wind power, they set the example for everyone in the nation."

Among the many leaders to highlight, five Pennsylvania colleges & universities - Bucknell, Dickinson, Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg - as members of the Central PA Shared Services Consortium (SSC), along with Juniata, are joining together to purchase over the output of one large 215-foot-tall wind turbine.

Bucknell University - a highly ranked national liberal arts university in Lewisburg, PA - will purchase 1 million kilowatt hours of wind energy a year, replacing more than half the electricity it currently purchases from traditional power plants. Steffen H. Rogers, Bucknell's president, said he was "extremely pleased that Bucknell University has the opportunity to participate in a totally environmentally sound energy-producing system." Bucknell currently generates 95 percent of its electricity needs from a highly efficient, low-emissions cogeneration plant on campus, owned and operated by the university. It's called a cogeneration plant because it generates not only electricity, but also steam - which is used to operate the heating and cooling systems for university buildings. "The wind energy purchase will replace 60 percent of the electricity currently purchased from the utility grid," said Dennis Hawley, Bucknell's associate vice president for facilities. "Combining wind energy with cogeneration allows Bucknell to meet nearly all of the campus energy needs in a very environmentally responsible or 'green' manner."

Dickinson College, a liberal arts college located 20 miles west of Harrisburg in Carlisle, PA, will purchase 9.2% wind energy - the highest percentage of any school in the eastern US. Nick Stamos, Vice President of Campus Operations, said, "Dickinson is pleased to be involved in this wonderful project with our fellow SSC members. Clean energy is high on our list of energy priorities".

Gettysburg College, a four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park, will purchase 7% wind power. "Gettysburg College is excited about this tremendous opportunity to invest in the future of clean energy and wind power," said Jennie Mingolelli, Vice President for Finance and Administration. "Purchasing wind-generated electricity adds a new dimension to our energy management program, expanding our commitment from efficiency to environmental stewardship," added Ken Shultes, joint director of facilities services for both Gettysburg and Dickinson colleges.

Franklin & Marshall College, a co-educational, national liberal arts institution located in Lancaster, PA, will purchase 7.3% wind power. "F&M is making a commitment to this important initiative, not only with its financial input, but also with the active involvement of our science departments, faculty and students," said Tom Kingston, Vice President for Finance and Administration. "We plan to make wind energy a core part of a new student-faculty-initiated program to conserve energy and save the environment."

Juniata College, a liberal arts and sciences undergraduate institution located in Huntingdon, PA, is also joining in on a the shared wind turbine by making a 6% commitment to wind energy. "While wind-generated energy today is slightly more expensive than conventional power, Juniata College is committed to funding renewable energy resources," says Thomas R. Kepple, Juniata College President. "The best way we can show our commitment and ethical responsibility to the environment is to begin purchasing wind power today."

Allegheny College, a leading college of the liberal arts and sciences located in Meadville, PA, will purchase 7.5% wind power, or more than 1 million kilowatt hours per year. Allegheny College President Richard Cook states, "Allegheny College is committed to exploring and promoting sustainable and environmentally responsible approaches to energy production and use. Colleges and universities have a special obligation and role to play in the research, development and demonstration of new technologies that will improve both our economy and the environment and that will reduce our dependence on foreign sources of energy--whether that be oil, gas, or uranium."

Penn State University has announced that it will purchase an additional wind turbine for the statewide campus system. Penn State's Ford Stryker, Environmental Strategy for Finance and Business, said, "Penn State is proud to be part of bringing new wind generation to the east. We are following through on our in-house commitment to expand our procurement of wind energy to the Campuses as additional generating capacity becomes available this fall. Wind energy is great for the Pennsylvania environment and the economy. It creates jobs, boosts income for farmers, and at the same time returns former strip mine land to productive use. Homegrown, wind energy contributes to U.S. energy independence and self-sufficiency. We hope this Penn State commitment will inspire others to do the right thing and buy wind energy."

Carnegie Mellon University announced its intention to extend its commitment to wind energy for five years, while increasing its amount from 5% to 6%. Carnegie Mellon was the first Pennsylvania university to purchase wind power in 2001, and its leadership set the 5% precedent that many schools are following. David Dzombak, a professor of civil and environmental engineering and chair of Carnegie Mellon's Green Practices Committee, said, "We are very pleased that our commitment to renewable energy and to the development of wind power resources has sparked the involvement of so many fellow institutions of higher education in Pennsylvania. An important benefit for all of us has been the widespread interest this has generated on our campuses, and the increased awareness of students about the linkage of energy and environment."

Gannon University in Erie, PA, northwestern Pennsylvania's premier Catholic university, will also make a 5% commitment to wind energy. Gary Garnic, Associate Vice President of Campus Services, said, "As a renewable and clean energy source, wind power has many benefits and makes good sense for the protection of the environment. We believe that in the long run, as investments in wind power increase, it will become a very efficient and cost effective source of energy."

Swarthmore College, a liberal arts and engineering college located 11 miles southwest of Philadelphia, will make a 2.5 % commitment to wind energy. "It's a small step, but the beginning of what I hope will lead to the purchase of larger percentages in future years," says E. Carr Everbach, a professor of engineering at Swarthmore and chair of the College's environmental studies program. "Wind farms need to be supported. They will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and on fossil fuels in general. A commitment to phasing out our use of dirty power demonstrates the moral leadership and educational mission for which the College was founded." 

The commitment to completely pollution-free electricity is spreading, not only to other higher education institutions, but to the government as well. The State System of Higher Education's 11 member schools - which includes the following universities: Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock, and West Chester - are all purchasing wind energy as part of the State of Pennsylvania green power contract. Kenn Marshall, spokesman for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, stated, "The State System is pleased with the opportunities presented by the various renewable energy sources being developed by firms such as CEI and is proud to contribute to the Commonwealth's green energy goals."

Wind energy is the world's fastest growing form of electricity generation, meeting the growing demand for clean, renewable energy. Wind turbines generate electricity with no emissions and no fuel at prices slightly above current generation costs. In addition to the environmental benefits, wind generation can offer stable twenty-year energy prices and significant economic development benefits, through tax revenues for rural communities and royalty payments to landowners.

Community Energy Inc. ("CEI") is the leading marketer of wind-generated electricity, under the brand New Wind Energy(. CEI brought the first commercial wind plant on line in the competitive Pennsylvania market in 1999, and since then has expanded the market for pollution-free electricity with the largest wind-farms east of the Mississippi. CEI customers include the five largest purchases of wind-generated electricity in the nation. CEI markets pollution-free, fuel-free energy from wind, solar and demand side technologies. 

More information on the new wind farms, and information on how to purchase wind energy, is available on the web at


  • Contact: Community Energy, John Halley, 610-254-9782
  • Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, John Repetz, 717-783-0543
  • Allegheny College, Erin McAdams, 814-332-6755
  • Bucknell University, Alan Janesch, 570-577-3631
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Chris Swaney, 412-268-2900
  • Dickinson College, Lorna Shurkin, 717-245-1180
  • Franklin & Marshall College, Marcy Dubroff, 717-291-3837
  • Gannon University, Nick Pronko, 814-871-7471
  • Gettysburg College, Mary Dolheimer, 717-337-6801
  • Juniata College, John Wall, 814- 641-3132
  • Penn State University, Paul Ruskin, 814- 863-9620
  • State System of Higher Education, Kenn Marshall, 717-720-4054
  • Swarthmore College, Tom Krattenmaker, 610-328-8534