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25 percent of OSU power to come from wind farm

RICK ADAMCZAK
Special to the Legal News

Published: October 9, 2012

In what is expected to be one of the single largest purchases of renewable energy by any university in the country, The Ohio State University has announced it will buy 50 megawatts of wind energy capacity from the Blue Creek Wind Farm in Van Wert and Paulding counties in Ohio.

The purchase of clean, renewable wind energy capacity equates to approximately 25 percent of the entire Columbus campus electricity load.

The school has signed a letter of intent with Iberdrola Renewables to buy the power.

The 20-year agreement helps Ohio State take a big step toward becoming a “carbon neutral university,” a commitment the university has been working toward since President E. Gordon Gee signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2008.

“Together we will make Ohio State a national leader in sustainability, while investing in renewable energy produced right here in Ohio,” said Gee.

The university continues to develop and implement plans to achieve its sustainability goals, including the creation of a campus culture that embraces sustainability, school officials said.

Besides being one of the largest North American wind purchases by a non-utility buyer, the purchase agreement also will create new opportunities for research between Ohio State and Iberdrola Renewables.

“This commitment to wind energy is a great example of Ohio State’s leadership in sustainability issues,” said Ron Sega, vice president and enterprise executive for energy and environment.

“In addition to supporting renewable energy, this is a reflection on how Ohio State is integrating research and academics into our campus operations.”

The purchase also helps Ohio State diversify its energy portfolio and it allows university energy experts to prepare for the future by knowing the cost of this electricity resource for the next 20 years, which enables university officials to better prepare for changes in the energy sector as well as long-term planning.

AEP Energy will deliver the electricity from the Blue Creek Wind Farm to Ohio State.

The project also contributes to Ohio State’s “Campus as a Test Bed” effort to provide research opportunities and industry linkages for Ohio State faculty and students.

Benefits associated with this partnership include access to important research data from the wind farm for use by a variety of multi-disciplinary research projects.

Researchers at Ohio State conduct studies on a broad range of wind energy areas, including rotor blade design and optimization, gear design, ecological and environmental analysis, wind energy markets, policy and community concerns and noise optimization.

Iberdrola Renewables LLC is headquartered in Portland, Ore. and has more than $9 billion of operating assets totaling more than 5,000 MW of wind and solar generation.

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