by Borderstan.com April 16, 2013 at 10:00 am 0

"Union Station"

Union Station now powered by 100 percent wind energy. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From John Shannon, who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]borderstan.com.

DC’s Union Station is now powered by 100 percent wind energy. The popular tourist site has signed a three-year contract for 100 percent WGES CleanSteps® WindPower from Herndon-based Washington Gas Energy Services. Union Station previously used 50 percent wind power for its electricity needs.

According to Roy Staeck, vice president of business development for Union Station, “Reducing our environmental impact is a key priority for Union Station and using renewable wind energy greatly aids us in decreasing our carbon footprint. As one of the most visited tourist destinations in the world, Union Station’s switch to wind energy through Washington Gas Energy Services is an important milestone in its history and a great opportunity to inform visitors about wind energy’s viability for businesses of all sizes.”

Month-long Interactive Eco-friendly Event

Union Station is hosting Earth Month 2013, a month-long event throughout April featuring interactive, eco-friendly experiences designed to raise awareness of environmental issues and encourage sustainability. Presented by Earth Day Network and the Premier Tourist and Landmark Association, this event will reach the more than 100,000 visitors who travel through Union Station’s doors each day.

As an event sponsor, Washington Gas Energy Services will educate attendees about how they can reduce the environmental impact of their energy use through carbon offsets and wind power.

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by Borderstan.com March 25, 2013 at 4:00 pm 0

From John Shannon, who writes about green energy, sustainable development and economics. Email him at john[AT]borderstan.com.

"wind power"

In 2012 the total installed U.S. wind capacity was 50,000 MW, enough to power 12 million homes annually, and an 18-fold increase since 2000. (Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Energy)

Until now, U.S. government buildings in DC have had 50 percent of their electrical power needs met with wind-turbine powered electricity supplied by Washington Gas Energy Services (WGES) CleanSteps® WindPower. That percentage increased recently to 100 percent as part of the government’s renewable energy target and building efficiency improvement plan.

According to WGES, using 100 percent wind power for electricity means that the DC Government avoids using the equivalent of almost 32.8 million gallons of gasoline — equal to taking 61,000 cars off the road for a year. The world’s fastest-growing energy resource, wind power, displaces conventional power, reduces carbon dioxide and helps cut air pollution.

“Going green helps foster economic growth and creates modern and vibrant communities across the District of Columbia,” said Brian J. Hanlon, director, D.C.  Department of General Services. “Our goals are to become more energy efficient and reduce our carbon emissions, and our strategic partnership with WGES is playing a role in helping us achieve these objectives.”

Even before this announcement, DC held the record among U.S. cities for the highest total renewable energy use at more than one billion kilowatt hours per year — or, 11.4 percent of it’s total electricity consumption. (For a complete breakdown of U.S. cities and their renewable energy use in 2012, see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Green Power Community Challenge Rankings.)

“We have stated our mission for Washington, DC, to be the cleanest, greenest city in the nation, which includes the use of renewable energy for our power sources. We’re proud that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized Washington, DC, as the leading Green Power Community for our commitment to purchase green power,” said Keith Anderson, Director, District Department of the Environment

In his National Geographic NewsWatch piece, Sam Brooks, associate director of the DC Department of General Services and head of its Energy Division, said, “Conservative estimates indicate a long-term purchase of regional wind power could save more than $100 million over 20 years.”

What could be better than breathing clean air while saving $100 million?

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Notes

  1. The U.S. Department of Energy funds R&D to develop wind energy. Learn about the DOE Wind Program, how to use wind energy and get financial incentives, and access wind energy information.
  2. In the District of Columbia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, businesses, organizations, government entities, institutions and residents can buy their electricity and natural gas supply from retail energy providers. Customers in Virginia may buy natural gas and customers in Delaware may buy electricity from retail energy providers. To learn more about WGES and its CleanSteps® products, visit WGES or call 1-888-884-9437.

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