Boston University will meet 100% of electricity consumption with wind

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Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center

Boston – Boston University will purchase wind energy to meet 100 percent of its electricity consumption, university leaders announced today.

Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, issued the following statement:

“We’re thrilled to see Boston University go 100 percent renewable. This commitment is a big step forward for the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the hundreds of thousands of students and alumni who will now enjoy a safer future.

“A growing number of institutions, businesses, cities, and states are committing to 100 percent renewable energy. These commitments should give us confidence we can go much further. If California and Hawaii can go 100 percent renewable, so can Massachusetts.

“We encourage other institutions to follow Boston University’s lead in switching to 100 percent renewable energy and, wherever possible, to purchase their electricity from sources located within New England. Our abundant renewable energy resources, like solar and offshore wind, could power Massachusetts many times over while reducing local air pollution and protecting public health.”

Boston University will purchase electricity from a wind farm in South Dakota and retain the renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by the project. The university’s 15-year power purchase agreement is an important source of financing for the project, ensuring that additional renewable energy generation will be added to the grid as a result of the transaction.

Today’s announcement is a major step in implementing the university’s Climate Action Plan, announced last December, which aims to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

Harvard University has also committed to a goal of 100 percent clean electricity. Hampshire College recently became the first residential college in the United States powered entirely by on-campus solar panels.

Earlier this month, the University of California announced plans to power its campuses and medical centers statewide with 100 percent renewable electricity by 2025, and refrain from using natural gas for heating or hot water in new buildings or major renovations starting in June 2019.

In the 2017–2018 legislative session, 56 representatives and senators cosponsored a bill for Massachusetts to run on 100 percent renewable energy economy-wide by 2050. California recently passed a bill for 100 percent clean electricity by 2045, matching a similar commitment by Hawaii.