Union Station Switches to Wind Power

April 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

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Photo by Eric Greaux

Union Station recently started getting all of its electricity from wind power, and will do so for the next three years, its power supplier said yesterday. The historic train depot signed a contract with Herndon, Va.-based Washington Gas Energy Services that will see it purchase renewable energy credits from a network of wind farms in order to offset its annual energy consumption.

The station consumes nearly 19 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year, according to a news release announcing the deal. Switching Union Station to wind power will be equivalent to reducing gasoline consumption by 1.4 million gallons or taking 2,700 vehicles off the roads for a year.

Purchasing wind credits will increase Union Station’s electricity cost, but Harry Warren, the president of Washington Gas Energy Services said in an interview that the premium for renewable power “aren’t really that large.” The station had been getting 50 percent of its electricity through wind power.

But contracts with institutional customers like Union Station and the D.C. government, which also recently signed a contract with Washington Gas Energy Services to furnish all of its electricity needs with wind power create what Warren called a “virtuous cycle” for renewable energy sources. “Premiums are getting a little bit smaller because of the development that this kind of commitment is driving,” he said.

Washington Gas Energy Services supplies wind power from turbine farms spread across Maryland, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and as far away as Illinois.

Union Station is also playing host this month to Earth Month 2013, a collection of exhibits about environmental protection, renewable power sources, and sustainability.

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