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JERSEY CITY-Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, the electricity purchased for all buildings on the Saint Peter’s College Jersey City campus will be 100% renewable “green” energy for a minimum of one year.

Saint Peter’s will be the second private college in the state of New Jersey to purchase green energy as its sole source of electricity, thereby displacing an estimated 3,065 metric tons of carbon dioxide throughout the year, which is the equivalent of planting 2,761 acres of trees or removing 7.7 million miles of vehicle travel from roadways.

The green energy will be generated by 100% wind power, an alternative to the typical use of fossil fuels used to create electricity. ConEdison Solutions is supplying Saint Peter’s with its renewable wind power, but the college also worked closely with R3 Energy of Tarrytown, NY, an advisor on intelligent energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions to various institutions.

“The purchase of renewable energy demonstrates Saint Peter’s commitment to sustainable strategy,” says Saint Peter’s College President Eugene J. Cornacchia, Ph.D., who signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment in 2008, with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality.

While the potential costs savings are not yet known, Cornacchia tells GlobeSt.com that they will be monitoring the monetary benefits. “But honestly, I’d be happy if we broke even,” he says. “This initiative is about protecting our environment.” According to Cornacchia, the college is looking to identify additional conservation opportunities including possible solar initiatives.

The college has already implemented a number of green initiatives including the elimination of Styrofoam cups and plates on campus; competitions between residence halls to encourage conservation measures; reduction of paper for communication messages; and the sole use of non-toxic cleaning supplies throughout the campus.

The college is also equipped with MINI E cars, the latest generation of 100% electric, zero emission vehicles for the next year, as part of BMW Group’s official field trial of the environmentally savvy cars.

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