Colleges set a good example
Halley stresses that despite fears of exorbitant costs, wind energy has an almost negligible effect on budgets. He says that on average, schools spend $450 to $550 annually on electricity for each student, and that purchasing wind power adds only $3.50 to $10 to that number. Though the cost difference is minimal, the impact isn't. A nickel's worth of wind energy is equivalent to 3 to 6 pounds of coal.A handful of schools, including UPenn, have managed to hit the 10% goal mark already -- kudos to all involved!
Combined, the 34 schools purchase approximately 92,200 megawatt hours. In terms of carbon dioxide reduction, it's an amount equivalent to planting 7.5 million trees, cutting driving distance by 96 million miles or removing more than 15,000 cars from the road each year.
But the benefits go beyond carbon dioxide reductions. The schools' commitment, which began with Penn, Carnegie Mellon and Penn State in 2001, has provided the capital needed to construct new turbines, fueling a Pennsylvania wind energy boom that comes with significant economic gains.