Xcel Energy and St. Olaf College have joined forces to provide the school with 100% wind energy. St. Olaf will use Windsource, an Xcel Energy program, to power the 56 buildings on its Northfield campus.
Choosing renewable energy to run its academic and administrative buildings, student housing and sports facilities will make St. Olaf College the largest Windsource customer in Minnesota while helping the school achieve its environmental and sustainability goals.
“We’re thrilled to help St. Olaf College achieve their renewable energy goals and share their commitment to protecting the environment,” said Chris Clark, President, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “We’re proud to partner with a school educating students about the benefits of renewables as we expand wind and solar energy options for customers.”
Xcel Energy, the nation’s number one utility wind provider launched Windsource in Minnesota in 2003 and the program currently has more than 45,000 residential and commercial customers in Minnesota. St. Olaf College uses about 14,000 megawatt hours to power its campus. Additionally, the college is a large subscriber to community solar gardens.
“We are one of the largest community solar garden subscribers and the largest Windsource customer in the state,” says St. Olaf Assistant VP for Facilities Pete Sandberg. “With all of that in play, carbon per student is 47% less than it was in 2001. That’s one of the lowest numbers of any campus in the country.”
As part of the schools long standing commitment to sustainability, St. Olaf College is also subscribing to support community solar gardens. Other aspects of the schools environmental stewardship, include renovating and constructing buildings that meet top environmental standards while enhancing existing energy efficiency programs.
Windsource is ranked as the third largest voluntary green energy program in the U.S. based on customer participation, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
- Xcel Energy has 20 Minnesota wind farms providing green energy to Windsource participants.
- The current cost for Windsource is $3.53 per 100 kWh block, which is partially offset by subscribers paying a lower fuel cost charge because they are purchasing additional wind power. The starting subscription level of one block costs less than $1 per month, and many customers choose 100% Windsource to power their homes and businesses.
- Residents sign up for a one year contract and business customers commit to three years.
- Xcel Energy purchases or generates additional electricity from renewable sources to meet the electric needs of Windsource customers. Xcel Energy retires Renewable Energy Credits on subscriber’s behalf, so they can use them as energy offsets. These credits are in addition to the renewable energy that Xcel Energy uses to meet the Minnesota Renewable Energy Standard, and are certified by Green-e Energy.
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