Western Partners with PSE on Green Direct Renewable Energy Program
April 20, 2017
Western Washington University is teaming up with Puget Sound Energy (PSE) on its Green Direct Renewable Energy Program, a ground-breaking program where customers, in an effort to use energy that meets their financial and carbon reduction goals, have agreed to a long-term service agreement in order to make this project viable.
This innovative program recently was approved by the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission (UTC). Once complete, the project would produce enough renewable energy to power nearly 30,000 Washington homes.
The largest off-taker of the energy will be King County, with government entities like Western Washington University and Sound Transit also committing to the project.
“Western has long been recognized for leadership and innovation in environmental education, but we’re equally committed to ‘walking our talk’ outside of the classroom as well, in terms of how our operations and energy usage impact the environment. We’re proud to support the Green Direct program and deepen our commitment to sustainable operations in a really meaningful, concrete way,” said Western President Sabah Randhawa.
For the past decade, Western has annually offset 100 percent of its electrical consumption from green sources via purchases of renewable energy credits (RECs). The purchase of RECs make wind power production more lucrative and act as a potential incentive for further investment in wind farms. However, the direct connection between REC purchases and creation of new wind resources has been criticized.
“Our agreement with PSE will ensure that Western’s investments contribute directly to new renewables coming online,” said Seth Vidana, sustainability manager with Western’s Office of Sustainability. “I can’t want to see the Western logo on a wind turbine; there’s no doubt that our dollars will have made it possible.”