University of Rochester

Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Residential halls convert to wind energy
Wind Farm

Waymart wind farm in Pennsylvania

This fall, when students switch on their lights or watch TV, they will contribute to a cleaner environment because 100 percent of the electricity used in residential life buildings on the River Campus is now offset with wind energy, supplied by wind farms both in New York and across the country.

“Our students are environmentally conscious and we’re making every effort to support and encourage their sustainable practices,” says President Seligman. “Making a commitment to wind power is just one more way we can reduce our environmental footprint.”

Laney Widener, a senior and member of Grassroots, called the effort “a great initial step in moving toward more sustainable practices campuswide. The more green practices we adopt, the easier it will be to integrate more environmentally friendly actions into campus life,” adds Widener, who also works as a sustainability coordinator for the University’s auxiliary operations office, promoting environmental awareness and actions.

The undergraduates who moved into campus residences last week received free compact fluorescent light bulbs for desk lamps as reminders to conserve energy. This fall, students, faculty, and staff will gain more knowledge of wind power and its value with a tour to a wind farm south of Syracuse.

The wind power initiative is one example of University efforts to promote sustainability. In 2008, President Seligman established the Council on Sustainability, cochaired by Provost Ralph Kuncl and Senior Vice President Ronald Paprocki, to provide an annual review of operational initiatives. The council will describe University-wide faculty and student academic initiatives; establish a comprehensive catalogue of sustainability efforts; and recommend new approaches.

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