Three-Year Agreement to Supply RECs Directly from Wind Facility

UPC Wind, an independent wind power developer, and Bowdoin College, announced today that the UPC Wind affiliate that owns the Mars Hill wind project reached a three-year agreement under which that affiliate will provide Bowdoin with renewable energy certificates (RECs) from its Mars Hill Wind project in northern Maine.

Bowdoin’s decision to purchase RECs from the Mars Hill Wind project &ndash the only utility-scale wind farm currently operating in all of New England &ndash stems from the school’s desire to support local renewable energy projects. Bowdoin is currently offsetting approximately 70 percent of its campus electricity use with voluntary renewable energy certificates produced in Maine. These voluntary REC purchases complement the green power already provided pursuant to Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law. For 2008, 31 percent of Bowdoin’s competitive electric supply is from qualifying renewable sources bringing Bowdoin’s total “green” electricity supply to 100 percent.

“Our primary focus has been and will continue to be switching to lower carbon fuels and increased energy efficiency, but as we seek to become carbon neutral, purchasing offsets are a necessity,” explains S. Catherine Longley, Bowdoin’s Sr. V.P. for Finance and Administration & Treasurer. “We are excited that the Mars Hill Wind project allows us to procure wind RECs locally.”

Bowdoin has a longstanding commitment to reducing its ecological footprint. In 2006 it signed the Maine Governor’s Carbon Challenge and agreed to reduce emissions to 11 percent below 2002 levels by 2010. This goal was surpassed in 2007. Bowdoin also joined the EPA Green Power Partner Program in 2006; the agreement announced today will ensure that Bowdoin remains in the EPA Program through 2010. More recently Bowdoin signaled its intent to achieve carbon neutrality when President Barry Mills signed the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment.

UPC Wind owns and operates the 42-megawatt (MW) wind farm in the town of Mars Hill, the first utility-sized wind farm in Maine. It is also developing other wind farms in the state, including a 57-MW project near Danforth, Maine. That project is currently under construction and is expected to be feeding power into the New England power grid before the end of 2008.

“Bowdoin has taken an important step toward ‘carbon neutrality’ and we’re happy to help them achieve that goal,” said Paul Gaynor, President and CEO of UPC Wind. “Maine is quickly becoming the leading source for renewable energy in New England, and we’re pleased to be able to deliver clean, renewable power to the region.”

Renewable energy certificates are credits that individuals, institutions or businesses can buy to compensate for the amount of nonrenewable, greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels &ndash such as coal, oil and natural gas &ndash used in their vehicles, homes, offices or other facilities. Buying the certificates helps subsidize the cost for a wind farm, solar farm or other renewable energy producer to generate an equivalent amount of clean energy and put it back into the power grid.

The RECs purchased by Bowdoin will be Green-e certified. Green-e Energy RECs signify superior, third-party-certified renewable energy generation, and are used by leading businesses and institutions to verify the quality of renewable energy sources.

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