Sustainable Centre: Green Fund
In 2007, in a student-initiated ballot, 82% of the student population voted for the adoption of a Green Fund, which requires each Centre student to pay a $20 surcharge on tuition that goes toward purchasing renewable energy credits from the local Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station. This endeavor was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees in fall 2008 and was implemented in fall 2009. Centre is the first educational institution in Kentucky to support the local production of green energy.
How does it work?
Renewable energy is more expensive to generate than less-clean alternatives. The $20 surcharge students are now paying buys Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to help subsidize hydroelectric production at Mother Ann Lee. Doing so helps ensure that the station remains competitive, while the College offsets its carbon footprint through the voluntary purchase of RECs that represent the absence of carbon emission.
For the 2011-12 academic year, Centre has contracted to purchase 4,140 RECs, which is equivalent to 4,140,000 kwh of electricity. This will represent approximately 30 percent of the College's anticipated use.
About Mother Ann Lee
The local Mother Ann Lee Hydroelectric Station is a 2,040 kwh run-of-river hydropower plant located at Lock and Dam 7 on the Kentucky River in Shakertown, Kentucky, just a few miles from Centre's campus in Danville. The project is one of only a few dozen hydropower plants nationally to have received “Low Impact” certification from the Low Impact Hydro Institute. Visit the Hydroelectric Station’s website for more information about its origins and current initiatives.