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EPA Switches to Pollution-Free Wind Power for New York City Offices

Release Date: 04/23/2003
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(#03040) New York, N.Y. -- Setting an example as an environmentally friendly workplace to mark Earth Day 2003, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that it will switch to non-polluting wind power for its offices in lower Manhattan.

With the switchover, the EPA Region 2 office, which serves New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, will become the first EPA regional office in the country that will be completely powered by wind-generated electricity as well as the largest federal purchaser of clean wind energy in New York State.

"Switching to a non-polluting energy source for our office has a direct and positive impact on our mission to protect public health and the environment," Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny said. "We also hope the switch will inspire other agencies and offices to follow our lead and convert to wind power."

Working with the U.S. General Services Administration, EPA will commit to purchase wind energy from Community Energy, Inc., the leading marketer of emission-free wind energy in the eastern U.S., through arrangements with EPA's existing electric supplier, Constellation NewEnergy.

The wind energy will be generated at New York State's largest wind farm, the Fenner Wind Power Project, located in the town of Fenner in Madison County, New York. The project uses state-of-the-art 1.5 megawatt (MW) wind turbines that have longer, slower-turning blades than older turbines and are highly efficient and very quiet.

EPA's wind energy commitment at its 290 Broadway offices is equal to 6.2 million kilowatt-hours of wind energy for one year, which is equivalent to the annual electrical output of one and a half of the wind turbines at the Fenner project.

Compared to the average generation mix in the spot market of the New York power pool, EPA's commitment is equivalent to the reduction of over 1,000 barrels of oil and more than 7 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) that would be emitted into the atmosphere annually. The CO2 reduction is equivalent to the amount removed from the air by 450,000 trees or the amount emitted by cars driven 6.3 million miles annually. In addition, the switchover will reduce emissions of sulfur dioxide by an estimated 34,500 pounds and nitrogen oxides by 12,000 pounds annually.

"This demonstrates GSA's ongoing commitment to being good citizens, while also allowing us to meet President Bush's challenge to operate effectively and efficiently as a federal government," said Karl Reichelt, Administrator for the General Services Administration's Northeast and Caribbean Region "In New York, we are proud to have a strong partnership with the EPA, not only in converting 290 Broadway to wind power, but also exploring new ways to better run our buildings - keeping in mind the balance between what is good for the environment and what can be afforded by the taxpayers."

Brent Alderfer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Energy, Inc., Exit EPA disclaimersaid of the EPA purchase: "This is energy leadership where it counts. Wind energy is America's best no fuel, no smoke, no pollution. This is a customer- driven market. The more customers like EPA that step up to buy wind energy, the more wind farms we bring on line in New York."

Nationally, 10 percent of EPA's electricity comes from renewable sources, which serve facilities in California, Colorado, Washington, Massachusetts and Ohio. EPA also developed the Green Power Partnership, a voluntary program that is working to make green-power purchasing a common business practice. Since the program began in the summer of 2001, 117 organizations have committed to green power for a total of 680 million kilowatt hours. Those purchases will help to remove 940 million pounds of carbon dioxide from the air, roughly the same amount absorbed by 130,000 acres of forest.

Kenny added that Region 2 is now also seeking to have its offices in Edison, N.J., convert to green energy.