In July, Drexel University (Philadelphia) became the proud owner of a 220-foot-tall wind turbine with the energy output of about 4 million kilowatt hours a year--just about the amount of energy required to power 500 Pennsylvania homes. With nearly 10 percent of its total energy usage being generated by wind energy, Drexel now leads the country's universities in percentage of total electricity supply provided by wind energy.
Drexel President Constantine Papadakis has lost no time pointing out that a cutting-edge position in alternative energy generation is what Drexel is all about: "Our university takes pride in applying tomorrow's technologies today," he recently announced. "This is a great decision from an environmental standpoint. The bottom line is: You get clean energy. The reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is equivalent to planting 350,000 trees in the area."
Drexel's purchase brings the number of Pennsylvania colleges and universities purchasing wind power to 26, the most of any state in the country But the commitment to pollution-free electricity by higher ed institutions in the state is only part of a larger movement nationwide. In a recent article in the July/August issue of Mother Jones magazine, it was revealed that wind power is now experiencing a full-blown boom. …