Green Power Switch News
Vol. 6, No. 1 Spring 2006
Universities go green
In September 2005, the main campus of the University of Tennessee (UT), a Knoxville Utilities Board customer, became the Green Power Switch program’s largest purchaser. In June 2005, UT’s administrators and Board of Trustees approved a student referendum (passed in 2004) supporting the purchase of green power, energy conservation projects, and efficiency standards. UT is the fourth-largest green power purchaser in the Southeast, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership Program.
Students at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and Tennessee Technological University (TTU) recently approved similar student government association ballot referendums with nearly 90 percent approval from their student bodies. Both initiatives are currently in committee and pending approval from their administrators and the Board of Regents.
Students from around the Southeast will converge in Knoxville April 7 to 9 for a conference that includes expert speakers, discussions, workshops on innovative technology, and a field trip to view the 18 turbines at the GPS wind energy site at Buffalo Mountain. These events will take place at the third annual Southeast Student Renewable Energy Conference, hosted by the University of Tennessee. This year’s conference will highlight the recent student initiatives at UT, MTSU, and TTU, as well as others from around the region and nation.
As universities from coast to coast adopt a number of innovative programs that range from improving campus energy efficiency and erecting solar panels to constructing on-campus windmills and converting university vehicles to the use of cleaner fuels, students are clearly voicing their feelings about what is important to them: a future with abundant clean, renewable, and responsible energy choices.
For more information on the April conference or student-related issues, call Nick Algee of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy at 865-637-6055, Ext. 17, or see http://energyconference.utk.edu.