OSU Campus Derives More Than 70% of Energy from Wind
Oklahoma State University (OSU), which became an EPA Green Power Partner in November 2012, decided to use green power – wind power in particular – to take advantage of an abundant, local and renewable Oklahoma resource.
Another reason OSU decided to use wind power was because of the fluctuation of fossil fuel costs, which play a key role in the sustainability of the university’s utilities budget. The volatile market for natural gas and the natural gas spike in 2008 started its investigation into how to reduce this financial risk. A long-term green power agreement provided the stability OSU needed.
OSU’s annual goal for wind power use is 67 percent of consumption for its Stillwater campus. During calendar year 2013, 72 percent of total electrical need, or 100,360,039 kWh, came from wind-generated power. Energy managers from the university say the wind-generated power percentage is holding steady so far in 2014 and at the mid-year point was at 74 percent, totaling 49,225,593 kWh.
OSU has obtained an interval data feed from its wind farm that provides the amount of electricity being produced in hour increments. A strategy is being investigated as to how to better use this data in conjunction with energy management practices and consumption on the campus. Being able to see what the wind farm is producing in real time will help utilities operators be more effective as they use energy consuming equipment and schedule HVAC runtimes in campus facilities.
For other schools looking at wind energy, OSU energy managers would “recommend ensuring that all parties and stakeholders are involved in the development of the Wind Energy Purchase Agreement and contract from the initial stages. It is also important to understand the organization’s green power goals and what implications these will have for budgets, rates and operations of the organization.”
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