Wind and Natural Gas Power University of Denver's Green New Year

DU turns to alternative energy, partners with students for a green

energy future

Sep 09, 2008, 01:00 ET from University of Denver

    DENVER, Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --- The University of Denver
 (DU) starts the new academic year this week with major alternative energy
 initiatives aimed at making the campus greener and cleaner.
     The university in September inked a two-year contract that will replace
 nearly a third of all the electricity used on campus with wind energy. On
 the heels of that, DU installed the first compressed natural gas (CNG)
 fueling station on a university campus in Colorado, replacing much of the
 gasoline used on campus with CNG.
     The CNG "pump," a fueling station serving a growing fleet of
 maintenance and other vehicles that run on natural gas, offers DU a green,
 and less-expensive source of power.
     Building on a $180,000 grant from the Denver-based Strategic
 Environmental Project Pipeline (StEPP) Foundation, DU converted 15 campus
 vehicles to CNG, although the vehicles can still run on gasoline when
 needed. Since 2007, using natural gas instead of gasoline on campus has
 kept more than 9.5 tons of carbon out of the atmosphere and cut fuel costs
 by at least $12,000, according to Allan Wilson, DU's director of building
     With the new pump station, which draws natural gas off existing lines
 and compresses it in a holding tank for rapid dispensing, DU departments
 can run vehicles at the equivalent of paying $2.25 a gallon gasoline.
     And while DU has purchased wind power since 2006, the new contract ups
 the ante, replacing 31 percent of campus electrical needs with green, clean
     The contract is a partnership between DU and its students, who
 contribute $6 each quarter through student fees to buy wind energy credits.
 The university matches the contribution.
     "The greatest thing about the wind credit program is that it was a
 student-initiated program that came to fruition," says Monica Kumar,
 president of the student senate. "It's a good feeling to know we made a
 change for the campus and overall."
     The developments are just part of DU's ongoing commitment to the
 environment, as reflected in the continuing work of the university's
 Sustainability Council, online at .
     The University of Denver (, the oldest private university in
 the Rocky Mountain region, enrolls approximately 11,117 students in its
 undergraduate and graduate programs. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the
 University of Denver as a Research University with high research activity.

SOURCE University of Denver