Saturday, April 14, 2007

Step It Up at Paul Smith's College, Adirondacks

Step It Up 2007 was alive today in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains at Paul Smith's College.

See the story.


PAUL SMITHS– Paul Smith's College announced Wednesday that it will purchase wind-generated power to provide all of its electricity, joining just a handful of colleges and universities nationwide to do so.

The College will purchase the electricity from Community Energy Inc., a Pennsylvania-based wind-energy marketer and developer.

"Purchasing renewable energy is an important step that the College can take to preserve our natural resources," said John Mills, president of Paul Smith's College. "Being the College of the Adirondacks also means providing environmental leadership. Every day, the threats posed by climate change and our reliance on fossil fuels create more tangible dangers. We're excited to take this step and hope that others might follow."

As part of the switch to wind power, Paul Smith's has joined the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Green Power Partnership program. As of March 30, just 13 other colleges and universities in the partnership relied entirely on renewables for their electricity needs. "Paul Smith's College has stepped up as a leader in New York," said Brent Alderfer, president of Community Energy. "Their renewable energy purchase puts their energy dollars to work to benefit the state economically and environmentally. As more customers choose to follow their lead and purchase renewable energy, we can bring more clean power resources online to meet that demand."

Because of the nature of the electric grid, the actual wind-generated electrons the College purchases won't be delivered to campus. However, the renewable-energy credits bought by Paul Smith's will ensure that an amount of power equivalent to the College's energy use is generated by clean, renewable wind.

Based on its past usage, the College expects to purchase 3,625 megawatt-hours of electricity a year. When that electricity is generated using renewable resources rather than fossil fuels, it offsets approximately 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide per year. That's equivalent to planting more than 341,109 trees, or removing 357 cars from the road.

In addition to the green energy purchase, Paul Smith's is pursuing several other initiatives to preserve the environment. This semester, waste from the campus dining hall is being composted at a nearby farm, and officials are examining the feasibility of integrating green building principles and strategies on campus construction projects.

Additionally, the College community will be among hundreds nationwide hosting a Step It Up rally this Saturday, an action aimed at encouraging Congress to reduce carbon emissions. Megan Veley, 19, a sophomore from Ithaca, N.Y., who is helping to organize the campus' Step It Up rally, said she was heartened by the College's decision.

"Small actions lead to big things," said Veley, who is majoring in natural resource management and policy. "It's very encouraging to know that there's something being done and we're taking a step forward to help the environment."

Paul Smith's College is the only four-year institution of higher education in the Adirondack Park. The school, on the shores of Lower St. Regis Lake, encompasses 14,200 acres of forests, streams, lakes and mountains that are available for students to explore and study. The College offers both bachelor¹s and associate degree programs which focus on experiential learning in a variety of majors including biology; fish and wildlife sciences; natural resources; environmental science; forestry; surveying; recreation, adventure travel and ecotourism; hospitality, resort and culinary management; liberal arts; and business.

Community Energy, Inc. (CEI) is a marketer and developer of wind energy generation founded in 1999 and headquartered in Wayne, Pennsylvania. CEI has over 2 billion kilowatt-hours of wind energy sales, 40,000 residential and business customers and marketing arrangements with 18 investor-owned and municipal utilities. CEI cites its utility partners and customers, which include many of the largest retail purchases of wind energy in the country, as the reason for its success in bringing wind energy to market in new regions of the country. CEI developed and jointly owns the Jersey-Atlantic Wind Farm and has wind projects under development in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest.

Related: Adirondack skiers join national global warming protest
WILMINGTON, N.Y. -- While other demonstrators in more than 1,400 spots around the U.S. denounced global warming Saturday, a dozen people skied up Whiteface Mountain to unfurl their protest banner in mid-April snow. [..]

[..] "From melting glaciers to unseasonable and erratic weather patterns, we are already feeling the impact," Bill McKibben said of global consequences. The former Johnsburg resident and author of "The End of Nature" helped organize Saturday's "Step It Up" protests nationally to push Congress to impose an 80 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

McKibben went to New York City among a "sea of people" in blue shirts Saturday to show where the new higher tide line will be. But his 1989 book "was written in large measure out of my fear for what would happen to the Adirondacks _ a fear that is already starting to be borne out in changed winters and summers," he said.

Backcountry skiers unfurl a banner after skiing and hiking 5.5 miles to the summit of Whiteface Mountain

Skiers Open Global Warming Protests By Michael Virtanen, Associated Press Writer


benny06 said...


That Prius looks identical to mine.

Patty Ann Smith said...

Congratulations! ~ To Paul Smith's College for increasing their leadership in going Green!

Jude Nagurney Camwell said...

I love the car, Benny! My next door neighbor just bought one and loves it - even in our awful Upstate NY winter! I'm going to have to look into getting one next tiem I buy - especially if there are tax credits offered.

Patty Ann - it's a great college and a beautiful campus. Some of the greenest-minded students I've met are studying forestry and eco-tourism there. My son's thinking about attending in 2008. I hope all's well with you!