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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

SU Purchases Renewable Energy Credits as Part of Sustainability Initiative

SALISBURY, MD---Turning trash into electricity is not new. In fact, Ingenco, a renewable energy company operating throughout the mid-Atlantic, has been doing it for more than 20 years.

Recently Ingenco partnered with Collegiate Clean Energy to provide 100 percent renewable energy to colleges and universities in Maryland and Virginia.  In support of this partnership, Wicomico County has an agreement with Ingenco to use methane gas from the Newland Park Landfill in Salisbury to produce renewable energy.  One of the users of this facility is Salisbury University, which disposes of its non-recyclable at the landfill.

In an effort to offset the carbon emission from the decomposition of this trash, the University has committed to purchase 8,000 renewable energy credits (RECs) produced at the landfill in 2013.  The estimated landfill gas being destroyed to produce 8,000 RECs is the environmental equivalent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 7,552 passenger vehicles, the carbon dioxide emissions from burning 210 railcars of coal or the energy benefit of powering 539 homes.

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As highlighted by Wayne Shelton, director of sustainability and environmental safety at Salisbury University, “Using landfill gas to make renewable electricity is a great sustainability process.  Landfills naturally produce greenhouse gases which, if not destroyed, migrate into the atmosphere and are 21 times as destructive as carbon dioxide. Instead, by producing renewable electricity, we are greatly lessening the negative effects on the environment and reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.” Salisbury University also has used the generation facilities at the landfill as an educational tool for environmental studies students.

Wicomico County Executive Rick Pollitt confirmed the county’s commitment to good environmental stewardship. “Wicomico County is pleased to work with Salisbury University, Ingenco and Collegiate Clean Energy to support a project that produces renewable electricity while eliminating greenhouse gases. Wicomico County is an established leader in promoting sustainable communities and we applaud Salisbury University for their foresight and commitment to building a healthier environment.”



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