Switching to Wind Power Blows In Award For Baylor

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Aug. 1, 2007

by Frank Raczkiewicz

Baylor University has received an Innovation Award from the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) for utilizing wind power and saving money at the same time.

The NACUBO Innovation Award recognized Baylor in the resource enhancement category, which highlights universities that have successfully reduced costs, increased revenues or improved productivity in response to a campus need.

The award is the result of a 10-year electricity deal Baylor struck with Integrys Energy Services that gives Baylor a predictable cost structure for its electricity needs for the next decade. Currently, Baylor spends about $13.5 million per year on electricity for its 735-acre campus and administrators expect to save about $2 million annually, or $20 million over 10 years, once the new contract takes effect in July 2008.

"This is really a win-win financially and environmentally," said Don Bagby, director of facilities management at Baylor. "We are honored that NACUBO has acknowledged us as a leader among higher education institutions when it comes to energy procurement."

While it does not mean that electricity generated on wind farms will be directly transmitted to Baylor, the money will allow for wind-generated electricity to be brought to the Texas power grid, which Baylor draws off of. Some of that power would have been otherwise generated by non-renewable fuel.

While this is the university's first major effort to support renewable energy, Baylor has long implemented multiple energy-savings initiatives across campus, which have saved the university more than $1 million since 2000. Energy efficient florescent lighting is in most campus buildings and high-efficiency electric chillers for cooling demands have been installed. During winter and summer breaks, an energy curtailment program is implemented, reducing energy consumption. A university-wide Environmental Control Policy also is in place which sets temperature parameters during the winter and summer seasons.

For more information, contact Don Bagby at (254) 710-8200.

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