Leading D.C. area institutions announce wind energy purchases

Sept. 30, 2002 — With a giant wind turbine blade as a backdrop, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and wind energy marketer Community Energy (CEI) joined local leaders today in announcing the availability of new, locally-generated wind energy for Capital area businesses and residents.

The U.S. Army, Catholic University, and National Geographic Society all announced groundbreaking purchases of wind energy from local electricity provider, Washington Gas Energy Services.

Washington Gas Energy Services is the first electricity provider in the nation’s Capital to offer CEI’s New Wind Energyà¢â€ž¢ product to all of its customers. “These customers are national and local leaders, and we are pleased to be able to provide them with locally-generated, competitively- priced clean wind energy,” said Harry Warren, President of WGES. “We hope that many other institutions, businesses, and consumers will follow their example,” he added.

The ceremony took place in front of a 115-foot long white, fiber-glass wind turbine blade, the type now being installed on 230-foot towers in Tucker County, WV, about three hours west of Washington D.C. The single blade, a third of a football field in length, is one of three blades that turn atop a state of the art wind turbine, and was brought to D.C. for the event by wind turbine manufacturer, NEG Micon.

The U.S. Army’s purchase of the energy equivalent of an entire 1.5- megawatt wind turbine will serve part of the needs of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center campuses in D.C. and Maryland, Fort McNair in D.C., and Adelphi Labs in Maryland. Catholic University’s purchase of the same amount represents 12 percent of all the electricity they use, the largest percentage commitment of any university or college nationwide. The National Geographic Society’s purchase will account for five percent of the electric needs of its D.C. headquarters. One 1.5-megawatt wind turbine’s output annually is equal to the electricity use of 500 typical homes.

Brent Alderfer, CEO and President of Community Energy, said, “Wind energy creates no air pollution and requires no fuel. The Army, Catholic University, and National Geographic deserve praise for their visionary purchases at a time when energy independence has never been more important.”

“This purchase illustrates the Army’s commitment to furthering the development of domestic renewable energy resources in this region,” said John Nerger, the Army’s Director of Facilities and Housing. “We are pleased to see the wind industry growth in the region and around the nation.”

“We are committed to improving the environment through the use of green technologies such as cost-efficient wind power,” said The Very Rev. David M. O’Connell, C.M., president of Catholic University. “And we hope our students reap the additional benefits of greater awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship.”

“As the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organization, demonstrating real opportunities to improve our environment is a natural role for The National Geographic Society,” said Christopher Liedel, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Society. “The fact that we have found a combination of lower electric rates and a cleaner electricity supply means that every area business and consumer can follow our lead.”

The Mountaineer Wind Energy Center will be the largest wind power project east of the Mississippi River when it goes on-line in December. Exelon Power Team, based in Kennett Square, PA, agreed to purchase all of the electricity produced by the wind turbines for 20 years, allowing the project to go forward. “We are extremely pleased to participate in this wind project. We believe consumers want the ability to purchase renewable energy, especially wind energy,” said Mike Freeman of Exelon.

The project operator/owner is FPL Energy, the largest U.S. generator of wind power. It currently has more than 20 wind farms in nine states. The wind farm was initiated and developed by Atlantic Renewable Energy Corporation, the leading developer of wind projects on the east coast. Atlantic Renewable has developed more than 75 percent of all installed windpower capacity in the eastern U.S.

Compared to the average electric generation in the Mid-Atlantic, the wind project will offset approximately 200 million pounds of air pollution. This is the carbon dioxide equivalent of planting over 14 million trees or taking 14,000 cars off the road.

Community Energy, Inc. (CEI) is a marketer of wind-generated electricity, under the New Wind Energyà¢â€ž¢ brand. CEI customers include the five largest purchasers of wind-generated electricity in the nation. More information is available at https://newwindenergy.com .

Washington Gas Energy Services is the largest competitive provider of electricity and natural gas in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, supplying more than 200,000 customers. Headquartered in Herndon, VA, Washington Gas Energy Services is an affiliate of Washington Gas and a subsidiary of WGL Holdings, Inc. For more information about WGES, please visit the company Web site at https://wges.com .

Source: Community Energy, Inc.

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