18:00 PM

Ohio State to power campus with wind energy from Ohio wind farm

COLUMBUS – The Ohio State University today announced it has signed a letter of intent with Iberdrola Renewables to purchase 50 megawatts (MW) of wind energy capacity from the Blue Creek Wind Farm, located in Van Wert and Paulding counties in Ohio. The purchase of clean, renewable wind energy capacity equates to approximately 25 percent of the entire Columbus campus electricity load, and is one of the single largest purchases of actual renewable energy by any university in the country.

The agreement helps Ohio State take a big step toward becoming a “carbon neutral university,” a commitment the university has been working toward since President Gee signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2008. The university continues to develop and implement plans to achieve its sustainability goals, including the creation of a campus culture that embraces sustainability.

“Our partnership with Iberdrola Renewables and Blue Creek Wind Farm underscores our long-held commitment to sustainability and to the economic future of our state,” said Ohio State University President E. Gordon Gee. “Together, we will make Ohio State a national leader in sustainability, while investing in renewable energy produced right here in Ohio.”

In addition to being one of the largest North American wind purchases by a non-utility purchaser, the 20-year purchase agreement will also create new opportunities for research between Ohio State and Iberdrola Renewables.

“This commitment to wind energy is a great example of Ohio State’s leadership in sustainability issues,” said Ron Sega, vice president and enterprise executive for energy and environment. “In addition to supporting renewable energy, this is a reflection on how Ohio State is integrating research and academics into our campus operations.”

“The leadership demonstrated by Ohio State in this commitment to purchase clean, Ohio-grown renewable wind energy is notable because it is voluntary, and demonstrates a commitment to carbon neutrality,” said Barrett Stambler, vice president of origination for Iberdrola Renewables. “This is the largest university purchase of wind power in our company's history, and we look forward to a long and fruitful partnership.”

The wind energy purchase will result in a significant improvement in Ohio State’s carbon footprint, and underscores the university’s leadership in advancing the development and use of sustainable energy. In addition, it helps Ohio State diversify its energy portfolio, and it allows university energy experts to prepare for the future by knowing the cost of this electricity resource for the next 20 years. This enables university officials to better prepare for changes in the energy sector as well as long-term planning.

This agreement with Iberdrola could not be possible without assistance and collaboration with AEP Energy for the electricity transmission. AEP Energy will deliver the electricity from the Blue Creek Wind Farm to Ohio State.

In addition to the delivery of energy to Ohio State, this partnership with Blue Creek Wind Farm contributes to Ohio State’s “Campus as a Test Bed” effort to provide research opportunities and industry linkages for Ohio State faculty and students. Benefits associated with this partnership include access to important research data from the wind farm for use by a variety of multi-disciplinary research projects.

Researchers at Ohio State conduct research on a broad range of wind energy areas, including:
*Rotor blade design and optimization
*Gear design
*Ecological and environmental analysis
*Turbine generators
*Wind modeling
*Wind energy markets
*Policy and community concerns
*Noise optimization

About The Ohio State University
Founded in 1870, The Ohio State University is a world-class public research university and the leading comprehensive teaching and research institution in the state of Ohio. With more than 63,000 students (including 56,000 in Columbus), a major medical center, 14 colleges, 80 centers, and 175 majors, the university offers its students tremendous breadth and depth of opportunity in the liberal arts, the sciences, and the professions.

About Iberdrola Renewables
Iberdrola Renewables LLC is the U.S. renewable energy division of parent company IBERDROLA, S.A., an energy pioneer with the largest renewable asset base of any company in the world. Iberdrola Renewables LLC is headquartered in Portland, Ore., and has over $9 billion of operating assets totaling more than 5,000 MW of wind and solar generation.

Ohio State Wind Energy Purchase Facts
*Size of agreement:50 megawatts of wind energy capacity
*Equates to 26% of electric needs for the Columbus campus
*Length of agreement: 20-year contract
*Wind Power Supplier: Iberdrola Renewables LLC
oContact: Jan Johnson, 503-796-7070 or jan.johnson@iberdrolaren.com
*Blue Creek Wind Farm is Ohio's largest commercial wind project, featuring 152 Gamesa 2 MW turbines with a capacity of 304 megawatts. The project consists of 114 turbines in Van Wert County and 38 in Paulding County.
*Blue Creek Wind Farm fact sheet: