Oberlin and Renewable Energy

In Ohio, half of all carbon emissions come from the electric power sector. One of Oberlin's greatest assets, however, is its community-owned electric utility that operates in the best interest of its citizenry rather than for profit maximization. Oberlin Municipal Light & Power System is on track to secure roughly 90 percent of its energy from local renewable energy resources by 2015 — largely from landfill gas captured and turned into useful energy.

Doing so will not only reduce the community's emissions 50% by 2015, it will also stabilize customer rates, promote greater self reliance on local energy sources, keep the community's energy dollars in the region, and supply green power to local residents and businesses. Manufacturers located in Oberlin can tout that products are made with green power and a low carbon footprint. It's this kind of commitment to sustainability that convinced GreenField Solar, a designer of high-tech solar photovoltaic cells that also capture solar thermal energy, to move to Oberlin.

Oberlin College is working to secure a power purchasing agreement for 2.26 megawatts of solar energy, has adopted campus building standards, and is investigating efficient, low-emissions alternatives to replace the college's coal-fired heating plant. The College recently completed a $1.1 million study funded by Department of Energy to assess current energy use and renewable energy potential in the region, identify the region’s strengths in the new energy economy, and begin drawing the roadmap on which to move forward. 

Explore the many initiatives at the Oberlin College Office of Environmental Sustainability.


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