As an adjunct professor at New York University (NYU), it was amazing to hear that the university announced it would purchase 118,000,000 kWh of wind power. It will be the largest purchase of wind power by any U.S. college or university, according to the EPA's Green Power Partnership Program, the largest purchase of wind power by any institution in New York City, and the 11th largest purchase nationally. They are creating a Sustainability Taskforce to develop a Green Action Plan (GAP). NYU is joining the USGBC to enable the University to access "best practices" for green building design and incorporate those ideas into strategic planning. John Bradley was hired in June, 2006 to develop and implement a comprehensive energy strategy that includes cogeneration and alternative energy sources, operation of the University's cogeneration plant, identification and implementation of energy conservation projects, and development of engineering standards for NYU's facilities that will improve their energy efficiency and infrastructure reliability.
Other highlights of the announcement were the establishment of a new Environmental Studies major, an increase of the energy efficiency of the co-generation plant on campus that will reduce emissions significantly below EPA standards, reviewing sites for additional bike racks around campus to encourage bicycle commuting and the hiring of new employees to expand NYU's recycling program (NYU currently recycles up to 30 percent of its waste stream).
At the announcement, the student organization, Green Arch, was acknowledged as having had a role in bring awareness to the need for more environmental activity at the University. One of Green Arch's founders, Jeremy Friedman told me by phone that "this is so exciting to see NYU going green". I agree!