From John Shannon, who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]borderstan.com.
Borderstan’s John Shannon interviews Harry Warren, the president of Washington Gas and Energy Services to find out more about the future of renewable energy in DC.
Borderstan: Thank you for making time for the Borderstan community. Washington, DC’s Union Station recently decided to switch to 100 percent wind power from WGES. How much energy does Union Station use per year and how many tons of greenhouse gases will their switch to wind power save?
Warren: Union Station’s electricity use is 19,000,000 kilowatt hours annually, about the same as 1,500 homes. The switch to 100 percent WGES CleanSteps® Wind Power will avoid more than 13,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. This is comparable to avoiding the annual emissions of 2,700 cars using 1.4 million gallons of gasoline.
Borderstan: What does the future hold for renewable energy at WGES? Do you see solar, biomass, or Power Purchase Agreements with other renewable energy producers as part of that future?
Warren: The awareness about renewable energy that prestigious end-users like Union Station create is something we will look to capitalize on in communicating to other businesses and institutions throughout the region. Of course, Washington, DC, as a city, is a recognized leader when it comes to renewable energy. Currently 11.4% of the city’s energy — more than one billion kilowatt-hours annually — comes from green sources, making it the nation’s #1 EPA Green Power Community.
Beyond wind power sales, another near term focus is our WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets product, which matches locally sourced carbon offsets to a customers’ natural gas usage. WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets support independently verified emission-reduction projects in our region and also help to fund new projects, such as tree plantings along rivers and streams that flow into the Chesapeake Bay. That local focus makes WGES CleanSteps® Carbon Offsets a unique product and program.
Read Part II of this interview here on Borderstan this Friday, April 26.