||Centre leads state in higher ed support of local energy production
RELEASED: May 14, 2009
DANVILLE, KY—In a recent article, The New York Times discusses college and universities across the country that are implementing student-voted green energy fees in order to promote sustainability and conservation on campuses. Centre College is among these institutions: during its 2008 fall meeting, the Centre Board of Trustees unanimously accepted a student-initiated proposal that will support green energy production through the purchase of renewable energy credits from the Mother Ann Lee Hydro Station in Shakertown, Ky. Centre is the first educational institution in Kentucky to support the local production of green energy.
The plan, which will increase the cost of tuition by $20 annually, was approved by 82 percent of students during campus voting in spring 2007. The fee will be instituted beginning this fall. The College's faculty and staff subsequently affirmed the initiative by introducing a voluntary salary reduction whereby employees could elect to donate a portion of their pay to the cause.
Because renewable energy is more expensive to generate than other less-clean alternatives, the College will help supplement the cost difference in order to subsidize production. Doing so helps ensure that the Mother Ann Lee Hydro Station remains competitive, while the College offsets its carbon footprint through the voluntary purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) that represent the absence of carbon emission.
Last year, student from Environmentally Conscious Centre Organization (ECCO), Centre Outdoor Recreation and Service (CORS), and the Student Government Association (SGA) visit the hydro station in order to better understand how the tuition increase will benefit the environment.
"I think that $20 per student is an amazing bargain for all the ecologically positive results of using hydroelectric power," says Bethany Pratt '10, co-president of ECCO and 2008 Udall Scholarship winner. "For everyone who visited the dam, I know that they came back excited and motivated about our goals to move towards carbon neutrality."
The amount of $20 annually per student was determined based on the sum of money needed to ensure that the hydro station could produce an extra turbine's worth of energy. (The Mother Ann Lee Hydro Station currently lacks the funds to operate one of its turbines.) This figure also represents the funds required energy to run both Olin and Young Hall with green energy. Given the proximity of the Mother Ann Lee Hydro Station to Centre's campus, it's very likely that Centre will directly receive energy directly from the plant.
For more information on E.ON's green energy initiative, please visit their website.
For more information on Centre's other sustainability initiatives, click here.
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Founded in 1819, Centre College is ranked among the U.S. News top 50 national liberal arts colleges. Consumers Digest ranks Centre No. 1 in educational value among all U.S. liberal arts colleges. Centre alumni, known for their nation-leading loyalty in annual financial support, include two U.S. vice presidents and two Supreme Court justices. For more, visit http://www.centre.edu/web/elevatorspeech/
For news archives go to http://www.centre.edu/web/news/newsarchive.html.
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