FLAGSTAFF - Coconino Community College (CCC) is joining some of the county's largest power users who are committing to purchasing a portion of their power from renewable energy sources.
CCC is part of the Northern Arizona Renewable Energy Purchasing Group (NAREG) that signed a Memorandum of Understanding Feb. 5 at Northern Arizona University's (NAU) Applied Research and Development Building. The NAREG group includes APS, the City of Flagstaff, Coconino County, Flagstaff Medical Center, Flagstaff Unified School District and NAU among other public and private organizations.
NAREG members are expressing their intent to sign large-scale contracts with the APS Green Choice program to pay a premium for renewable energy. CCC has committed to purchase a minimum of five percent of its power from green energy, a cost of about $2,000 per year.
The idea behind the program is to increase total demand until it reaches a point that it will become cost-effective for APS to sign a Power Purchase Agreement with one or more local renewable energy generating facilities and make renewable energy purchasing more affordable for consumers.
CCC already implements sustainable practices such as using natural day lighting throughout the Lone Tree Campus, low pressure sodium parking lot lighting, waterless urinals, native plant and rock landscaping and recycled wood products. In addition, the college recycles 90 percent of all its trash in a partnership with the City of Flagstaff.
"Sustainable practices have been very important to the college, especially since the planning phases of the Lone Tree Campus facility," said CCC Facilities Director Mark Easton. "The building is extremely energy efficient, which keeps operating costs down and makes a statement about how the college community values and protects the environment."
NAREG evolved from the Coconino County Sustainable Economic Development Initiative. The action of Feb. 5 is the culmination of nearly a year of discussions among the NAREG participants.