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 services. 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 energy. 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 www.du.edu/green . The University of Denver (www.du.edu), 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